tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN November 30, 2011 1:00pm-3:47pm EST
this place should embrace this bill because it is a testament to the noble dedication of a young congressional staffer who lost his life in the service of his country. and i had the privilege of being in the room when this room was dedicated to him and i hope that all of us can embrace this. i urge my colleagues to vote yes and honor gabe zimmerman and the legacy of service that he left behind. thank you, madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from florida. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from florida ms. wasserman schultz: i yield one minute to mr. pastor. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. pastor: i rise in support of this legislation and i too want to thank both the sponsors of the resolution, the co-spon ors -- co-sponsors and the leadership on the republican and democratic side for bringing this resolution before us and having it today.
i urge all my colleagues to vote aye. it's a tribute to gabe zimmerman who gave his life in tucson. also it's a tribute to his family. his mother was a public servant in tucson, she worked for many years in that community, so he knew what public service was through his family. it's also a tribute and a recognition of the service that all public employees give to our country and make -- in making our life every day a little better. so may gabe rest in peace and may we continue to give thanks and gratitude to the public servants who give quality to our life. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from tennessee. mr. fleischmann: i wish to yield two minutes to the gentleman from texas, mr. olson. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two
minutes. mr. olson: madam speaker, this is a somber occasion. but i wanted to speak in support of congressional action dedicating the room in the capitol visitors center as the gabriel zimmerman meeting room. gabe and five others lost their lives on january 8 of this year in a parking lot in tucson, arizona, when a deranged man opened fire on innocent people. gabe was just doing his job. while i've never had the pleasure to meet gabe, i feel like i know a lot about gabe. he worked for gabbie giffords, a -- for gabbie giffords, who
has become a good friends through our work on the science and technology committee in the last congress. she showed me something rare in washington, true bipartisanship. it says a tremendous amount about gabe that he had her trust and confidence. i also feel i know gabe because like him, i was a congressional staffer. i served in the offices of two texas senators, senator phil gramm and senator john cornyn, for nearly nine years. there is nothing i wouldn't do to protect my bosses. gabe was put in a position that no congressional staffer in american history has faced. asked to sacrifice his life for his boss and innocent people. when shots rang out, he was in the line of fire.
he didn't run. he made the ultimate sacrifice and became the first congressional staffer to give his life in the line of duty. one final comment about gabe's courage. prior to my time as a senate staffer, i served for nearly 10 years as a pilot in the united states navy. our military heroes who lay down their lives for their comrades are celebrated and remembered an fitch our nation's highest military honors and are memorialized in history. while gabe zimmerman was not wearing a uniform when he died, he deserves to be memorialized today. we do so today by permanently affixing his name on a plaque in the capitol visitors center. we can never, ever forget
gabe's sacrifice for the united states of america and by passing h.res. 364, we ensure that gabe's short life is forever remembered, revered and immortalized. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from florida. ms. wasserman schultz: thank you, madam speaker. it's my pleasure to yield one minute to the gentlelady from california, ms. speier. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. ms. speier: thank you, madam speaker. i thank the author of this resolution for giving us all the opportunity to recognize gabe zimmerman and to honor his memory and to extend to his family, ross zimmerman, emily nottingham, and ben zimmerman, our gratitude for giving their son and brother in service to this country. we've said it already, gabe
zimmerman, a young man a passionate, idealizist, 30-year-old man, engaged to be married to his beloved kelly, lost his life in a gunfire while -- in gunfire while assisting his congresswoman, gabbie giffords. in the routine course of affairs in this house, our staff members often sacrifice their peace of mind in service to the needs of our constituents. in many of our hectic moment they sacrifice their family time and the events with children that create a lifetime of memories. gabe semi-erman loved his mustn't and his nation that he served -- zimmerman loved his community and his nation that he served and it is appropriate that we recognize him and aflicks -- affix a plaque in his honor. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from tennessee. mr. fleischmann: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from texas, mr. poe. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two
minutes. mr. poe: i thank the gentleman for yielding. gabe zimmerman, i didn't know him, but i know many people just like him. they are called the congressional staffers. gabe zimmerman dedicated his life to public service and died dedicating his life to public service. he died from an assassin's bullet in january of this year hosting a congress on your corner event for gabbie giffords which he organized. there are many men and women just like gabe zimmerman who come to work every day and work in congress. these staffers work very long hours, sometimes late into the night, they work weekends, they deal with people from our districts, and sometimes they get little or no appreciation for their hard work. congressman giffords is blessed to have a wonderful staff. i had the pleasure to be with her legislative director peter
ambler and her director of operations jennifer cox when they hosted me at the arizona border so i could talk to ranchers in arizona. this occurred after gabbie was shot and wounded. i was impressed with these staffers and their work in keeping up the mission of our fellow member of congress, gabbie giffords. as she was recovering from her wounds. the energy and drive of these bright americans represents really all that is good about our country. so on this day, it is good that members of congress remember and give thanks for gabe zimmerman, his colleagues, and represent -- his colleagues in representative giffords' office, for representative gabbie giffords, and all the men and women who allow this great body to continue to be the people's house. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from florida. ms. wasserman schultz: thank you, madam speaker. it's my pleasure to yield one
minute to a woman who i experienced among the most emotional experiences in my life, along with our colleague from new york, representative gillibrand, when we watched representative giffords open her eyes after her injury, the gentlelady from california, our leader, nancy pelosi. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. ms. pelosi: thank you, madam speaker. i thank congresswoman wasserman schultz for taking the time today to bring this important legislation to the floor. yes, we did indeed experience an emotional moment to see gabbie open her eyes, but we all experience an emotional moment here on august 1, when congresswoman giffords came back to the floor of congress to cast a vote. with all the smiles that we had that day, and the history, we had within us the sorrow for
those who lost their lives last january. up with of those was gabe zimmerman. i'm pleased and saddened to come to the floor today to join my colleagues, thank you, congressman fleischmann, congresswoman wasserman schultz and the congresswoman from the district of columbia for their leadership here and join in a bipartisan way, especially with the leadership of congresswoman wasserman schultz and the arizona delegation in a bipartisan fashion speaking on behalf of this resolution. as has been mentioned, gabe zimmerman and five others were tragically taken from us on january 8 of this year in the attack on congresswoman giffords. all the nation watched and prayed. today in permanently naming a room in the capital complex after gabe, we honor his life. as gabe's mother, emily notting
ma'am, said, it's not gabe's death but his work and his ideals that should be recognized here. gabe's ideals were rooted in service, he had worked as has been mentioned, as a social worker, assisting troubled youth, served on the boards of several community organizations in dueson and assisted the constituents of congresswoman giffords. the work he did made a difference to veterans seeking benefits they were owed, to seniors who had lost their social security checks. as this resolution notes, more than 15,000 individuals serving as congressional staff and honoring gabriel zimmerman today. we recognize all of them for their service. i want to particularly acknowledge pia corazon, the chief of staff for congresswoman fwiffereds for her leadership in guiding the staff through this tragic time
but not for one minute diminishing the concern and service to the people of the district that gabbie giffords represents in tucson. today we pray for gabe's family, his mother emily, his father ross, his stepmother pamela, his brother dan, his fiancee -- fiancee kelly, and i hope it is a comfort to them to know that gabe will be forever remembered here in the capitol complex. when people see that name, that signage, whether it's above the door or directions to it, some may ask the question, who is gabe zimmerman? they may not know him by name, but they know him by his sacrifice. and we all honor that here today. may he rest in peace, may his memory always be a blessing to us. we know that it is, but we want
everyone else to know it as well. with that, again, i thank congressman wasserman schultz for her leadership, persistence, determination, relentlessness in making this possible in honoring gabe. we honor the work of all of our staff, past, present, and future. with that, madam speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from tennessee. mr. fleischmann: may i inquire how much time i have left? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from tennessee has five and a half minutes left this gentlelady from florida has 3 1/2 minutes left. the gentleman from tennessee. mr. fleischmann: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from arizona, mr. flake. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. flake: i thank the gentleman for yielding and thank those who brought this resolution to the floor, particularly the gentlewoman from florida and the hard work she put into it and the staff of gabbie giffords working hard to get this done and for the
family of gabe zimmerman to make sure this came to the floor today. i was fortunate enough to be in tucson a few hours after the shooting and was with those assembled at the hospital, with friends and community activists and others when it was confirmed that gabe zimmerman had lost his life. i wish that all within the sound of my voice today could feel in that room and that day and the days that followed the love that was felt for this good man, for the work he did for our colleague, for how much he is loved throughout the state of arizona. the state of arizona will not forget what he has done and with this resolution today, with this naming, we ensure that this institution does not forget gabe as well. all of us as members of congress here, to have a flak outside of our office that
denotes that we are serving the people of our representative states. when we retire or when we leave after serving here, we will take those plaques with us. maybe they'll decorate our office at home or our room at home. i think it is fitting that this flak will remain here forever. and will honor the service of gabe zimmerman and also the service of many staff who work so hard, that are often forgotten and not appreciated for the work they do. it's an honor to be here. i appreciate again those who have helped bring this resolution to the floor, particularly the family of gabe zimmerman. i hope they know how much we appreciate their sacrifice, and gabe's sacrifice. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from florida. ms. wasserman schultz: thank you, madam speaker. before i yield back, i want to share one more story to really demonstrate to the entire
country the heart of the young man that we're honoring here today, because even those who only occasionally came into contact with gabe zimmerman were touched by his passing because of the way he treated them in life the weeks following gabe's death, the night security guard came and knocked on the door of congresswoman giffords' tucson office. he was working late and her staff opened the door. the guard came hope that the person that he so often talked to at night hadn't really been killed. tearing up he said he hadn't known gabe's name but said that he often found gabe working late and that gabe would ask him about his family or his week or just talk about sports, gabe always treated him with dignity, which meant so much to him, and that's the importance of the legislation we have in front of us today is that knowing that we are going to forever designate h.v.c. 215 as the gabriel zimmerman meeting
room sends a message to all our staff and the hearts of all who serve that we will honor their service, honor their commitment, honor their willingness to make a personal sacrifice, to devote their lives to helping others, that was the epitome of gabe zimmer map, and i want to close -- zimmerman, and i want to close by thanking the entire arizona delegation, particularly mr. franks and mr. flake and most especially dave schweikert who had such courage in sponsoring this legislation with me, was passionately committed to garnering co-sponsors for it and really worked incredibly hard to bring it to the floor and i want to thank the leadership of both the democrats and republican members, this is a very challenging and difficult time for our nation, madam speaker, you know, it's my hope that as hard as it is and as hard it
has become for us to engage in civil discourse, that we really all redouble our efforts as we have all publicly stated that we're willing and interested in doing, myself included, to make sure that we can earn the respect and earn every day the privilege that our constituents have given us to represent them here in our nation's capitol and in doing so we will honor gabe's memory, honor the service of our colleague and friend gabrielle giffords and know that gabriel zimmerman did not die in vain. thank you i yield back the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from florida yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from tennessee. mr. fleischmann: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from minnesota, mr. paulsen. mr. paulsen: thank you, madam speaker.
i want to thank those that put this resolution together which is so important. i have had an honor to know gabby giffords since 2005 before we either were elected. i know she would want to be on the house floor to honor the life of gabe zimmerman. her director of community outreach who lost his life in that senseless attack on january 8. as a former staffer, myself, i know firsthand that working for a member of congress isn't like most jobs. you rarely go home at 5:00 or 6:00. you work long hours. i typically do not have weekends off. but to those staff who work for all of us, every one of the house members, reward -- the reward comes from working for constituents on behalf of our districts, our states and our great country. and all of our staff are extensions of the members that they work for. gabby's staff is certainly reflection of who she is, a loyal, dedicated public
servant. and gabe zimmerman is no different. i didn't know him, but i do know that he cared for his community, he cared for his country, gabe was a passionate advocate for children, for social justice, for anti-racism. and gabe didn't wear the uniform of a soldier or police officer but he did give his life while serving his country. so it is absolutely fitting that inside the congressional visitor center where thousands of people visit every year, a room will bear gabe zimmerman's name in his honor. i hope that this dedication will also serve as a reminder to all of us of the passion and the loyalty and that dead cage that gabe showed every day as a congressional staffer. so my thoughts continue to be with gabe's family, with gabby and her husband, mark, and with all of gabby's staff who have a constant reminder of how valuable life really is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from tennessee. mr. fleischmann: madam speaker, in closing i wish to thank
congressman schweikert, congresswoman wasserman schultz for their co-authorship of this very, very important legislation, honoring gabe zimmerman. i want to thank the entire arizona delegation for all their tireless efforts in this regard. and i also wish to urge all of my colleagues in this great house, the people's house, to support this bill later today. with that i yield back. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. and the question is will the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 364. those in favor say aye. those opposed will say no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the resolution -- ms. wasserman schultz: madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from florida. ms. wasserman schultz: with that i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested, and all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain
standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. and pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question will be postponed. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? mr. woodall: madam speaker, by the direction of the committee on rules, i call up house resolution 477 and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: and the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house calendar number 94, house resolution 477.
resolved, that upon the adoption of this resolution it shall be in order to consider in the house the bill h.r. 3463, to reduce federal spending and the deficit by terminating taxpayer financing of presidential election campaigns and party conventions and by terminating the election assistance commission. all points of order against. -- against consideration of the bill are waived. the bill shall be considered as read. all points of order against provisions in the bill are waived. the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill and any amendment thereto to final passage without intervening motion except, one, one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on house administration, and two, one motion to recommit. section 2, at any time after the adoption of this resolution the speaker may, pursuant to clause 2-b of rule 18, declare the house resolved into the
committee of the whole house on the state of the union for consideration of the bill h.r. 527. to amend chapter 6 of title 5, united states code, commonly known as the regulatory flexibility act, to ensure complete analysis of potential impacts on small entities of rules, and for other purposes. the first reading of the bill shall be dispensed with. all points of order against consideration of the bill are waived. general debate shall be confined to the bill and shall not exceed one hour, with 40 minutes equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on the judiciary and 20 minutes equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on small business. after general debate the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five minute rule. in lieu of the amendments in the nature of a substitute recommended by the committees on the judiciary and small business now printed in the
bill, it shall be in order to consider as an original bill for the purpose of amendment under the five-minute rule an amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of the rules committee print dated november 18, 2011. that amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be considered as read. all points of order against that amendment in the nature of a substitute are waived. no amendment to that amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be in order except those printed in part a of the report of the committee on rules accompanying this resolution. each such amendment may be offered only in the order printed in the report, may be offered only by a member designated in the report, shall be considered as read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment, and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question in the house or in the committee of the whole. all points of order against
such amendments are waived. at the conclusion of consideration of the bill for amendment the committee shall rise and report the bill to the house with such amendments as may have been adopted. any member may demand a separate vote in the house on any amendment adopted in the committee of the whole to the bill or to the amendment in the nature of a substitute made in order as original text. the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill and amendments thereto to final passage without intervening motion except one motion to recommit with or without instructions. section 3, at any time after the adoption of this resolution the speaker may, pursuant to clause 2-b of rule 18, declare the house resolved into the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for consideration of the bill h.r. 3010, to reform the process by which federal agencies analyze and formulate new regulations and guidance documents.
the first reading of the bill shall be dispensed with. all points of order against consideration of the bill are waived. general debate shall be confined to the bill and shall not exceed one hour equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on the judiciary. after general debate the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule. it shall be in order to consider as an original bill for the purpose of amendment under the five-minute rule the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the committee on the judiciary now printed in the bill. the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be considered as read. all points of order against the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute are waived. no amendment to the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be in order except those printed in part b of the report of the committee on rules accompanying this resolution. each such amendment may be offered only in the order printed in the report, may be offered only by a member
designated in the report, shall be considered as read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment, and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question in the house or in the committee of the whole. all points of order against such amendments are waived. at the conclusion of consideration of the bill for amendment the committee shall rise and report the bill to the house with such amendments as may have been adopted. any member may demand a separate vote in the house on any amendment adopted in the committee of the whole to the bill or to the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute. the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill and amendments thereto to final passage without intervening motion except one motion to recommit with or without instructions. section 4, it shall be in order at any time through the legislative day of december 2,
2011, for the speaker to entertain motions that the house suspend the rules, as though under clause 1-c of rule 15, relating to a measure addressing railway labor. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized for one hour. mr. woodall: thank you, madam speaker. for the purpose of debate only, i'd like to yield the customary 30 minutes to my friend from massachusetts, mr. mcgovern, pending which i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. woodall: during consideration of this resolution, madam speaker, all time is yielded for the purpose of debate only, and i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. woodall: madam speaker, house resolution 477 is a structured rule for the consideration of three bills. h.r. 527, the regulatory flexibility act, h.r. 3010, the regulatory accountability act and h.r. 3463, a measure to
reduce federal spending and the deficit by terminating taxpayer financing of presidential election campaigns. it demands that agency rulemaking be held accountable. reclaiming that authority that is vested here in this house. h.r. 527, the regulatory flexibility act, requires agencies to analyze the impact that a new regulation would have on small businesses before the regulation is adopted by requiring all federal agencies to obtain input and develop and conduct regular regulatory reviews of existing regulations, this bill, i believe, complements and codifies president barack obama's commitment in executive order 15563 which solicits public input. h.r. 3010, the regulatory accountability act, makes
further positive changes. it reforms and modernizes the procedures act. it makes agencies more accountable and regulations more cost-effective, and a recent study, madam speaker, that the small business administration commissioned, they estimated hat cost of the u.s. federal regulatory burden hit $1.75 trillion. $1.75 trillion. that's not to say there aren't benefits that outweigh that burden. but when the burden is that substantial, we have to have a process in place that balances those benefits and burdens. that's all h.r. 3010 asks to do. time and time again, the american people have demanded more accountable from their congress. more accountability from their government. this collection of bills today not only provides that accountability to congress but requires that accountability of
our executive branch agencies. as we talk about accountability, madam speaker, it is important to note that these bills are paid for by terminating the election assistance commission. you'll remember, madam speaker, that was a commission created in 2002 that was supposed to sunset by 2005. and yet has continued even until today. that commission was set up in the aftermath of the hanging chads of of the 2000 presidential election to help states implement election reforms, to help states make sure the integrity of their electoral process was preserved. and yet today, six years after the expected sunset of that commission, we hear from our state secretaries of state that they no longer need that commission. that that commission is not
providing useful benefits to them. by terminating that, we'll save the american taxpayer more than $600 million over the next decade. madam speaker, taken together, these three measures, h.r. 527, h.r. 3010, and h.r. 3463 help small businesses increase agent -- help small businesses, increase agency transparency, and increase public participation in the entire regulatory process. they save money for hardworking american taxpayers and are positive reforms that this congress can pass in a bipartisan way. i hope that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will support these underlying measures and i hope they'll support this rule so we may consider them today. with that, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: thank you, madam speaker. i thank my friend from fwea for yielding me the customary 30 minutes. i yield myself such time as i
may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection e, the gentleman is recognized. mr. mcgovern: i rise in strong opposition to this restrictive rule and -- not only restrictive, but very convoluted rule. and i rise in opposition to the three bills that would be made in order by this rule. regulatory uncertainty is something invented by republicans that allows them to use current economic problems to pursue an agenda supported by the big business community year in and year out. in other words, it's a simple case of political opportunism, not a serious effort to deal with high unemployment. those aren't my words, those are the words of bruce bartlett a republican who worked for ronald reagan, george h.w. bush, jack kemp and ron paul. think about what mr. bartlett is saying in his last sentence. republican would rather play political games rather than putting people back to work. they would rather fiddle while
rome burns instead of putting out the fire. look at the republican track record since the start of the 112th congress. no jobs bills. not one. but we found time to debate bills defunding planned parenthood and national public radio. there's no extension of the payroll tax cut or unemployment insurance. but we can spend hours debating the need to allow unsafe people the right to carry concealed weapons from state to state. no effort to take away tax breaks for oil companies who continue to make billions of dollars in profits each month. but we can find time to make our air dirtier and our boughter less safe by dismantthelling clean air act and clean water act. seriously, madam speaker, the agenda of the far right continues to dominate this house leadership. that agenda is out of touch with the needs of the american people. we have a jobs crisis in this country. the rich are getting richer and everyone else is struggling. yet the republicans continue to
side with the people who don't need any help. they killed the super committee because they would rather proteblingt tax cuts for millionaires than deal with the deficit. they are refusing to take up the extension of the payroll tax cut that expires at the end of the year because they don't want their millionaire friends to pay a little bit more. so this week, we consider anti-regulatory bills that make our country less safe and our citizens less healthy. we'll consider a bill that puts more corporate money into the political system. and we'll debate a bill that makes it harder for workers to organize. not one of these bills will put people back to work. not one will help struggling families keep their heat on during the winner. not one will help repair our aging infrastructure. to quote mr. bartlett again, people are increasingly concerned about unemployment, but republicans have nothing to offer them, end quote. and that's the truth, madam speaker.
republicans have absolutely nothing to offer. the president proposed and i have co-sponsored the american jobs bill. it's a proposal that would help put americans back to work. it would extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance. would help repair our aging infrastructure and would provide aid to cities and states so they don't have to lay off more teachers and police officers and more firefighters. it's a bill that is paid for. it doesn't add one cent to the deficit. and it's made up of measures that republicans and democrats have supported in the past. let me repeat that. what the president has proposed are a series of measures that republicans an democrats have supported in the past. the idea that a program was good under president bush but not under president obama doesn't make much sense to me but that seems to be the thought process that passes for governing under this republican leadership system of where is the republican plan? they don't have one. it's not enough to cross our fingers and hope our economy
improves. it's in the enough to close our eyes and wish more people would find a job. actions speak louder than words an it is clear by the republican leadership's actions that they don't care about the economy. either that, or they are making a conscious decision not to act simply for political gain. either way, americans are hurting because of their inaction. madam speaker, our economy is not where it needs to be. there are still too many unemployed people in this country. there are still too many people struggling to make ends meet, struggling to pay their bills and put food on the table. but this notion that red tape is what's keeping our economy from getting off the ground and that thoughtful regulations are preventing people from getting jobs is just untrue. we don't need to waste time debating bills that make our air and water dirtier and less safe. we don't need to waste time with bill december funding npr and planned parenthood. we don't need to paes time
debating bills to reaffirm our national mot faux toe. what we need to do is get our economy moving and create jobs. republicans have been in charge for 330 days. that's 330 days without a jobs bill. it's not enough to call something a jobs bill if it doesn't put someone back to work. no, madam speaker, we need a real jobs bill. we need definitive action that shows the american people that we care about their well being. that we understand what they're going through. and that we are here to help. in short, that we are on their side. the bills we will be considering this week just don't get the job done. it's been 330 days and republicans still don't get it. i can't say that i'm surprised. disappointed, but not surprised. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts reserves his time. the gentleman from georgia. mr. woodall: i yield myself such time as i may consume. i look at the clock above your
head, i think it's been about 11 minutes since my colleague debbie wasserman schultz called for a toning down of the rhetoric and focusing more on policy. i don't think we were able to make it to minute 15. i'll quote my friend as he referred to republicans. either they don't care about the economy, or they are just acting for political gain. is that all there is? either folks don't care, or they're just acting for gain. it could be that their principles are different. it could be that their principles are different. but i don't believe that. i believe our principles are the same because what these bills do is one thing and one thing only. let's balance the regulatory burden with the benefits that it provides. madam speaker, who is it in america that does not believe that balance is important in what we do here in congress? i hear it back home all the
time. rob, balance. i want you to get things done, but i don't want you to get things done that are the wrong thing for the wrong reason. i want you to coming to and work on these issues who sit, madam speaker that does not believe that regulation to protect health and safety is important. i do. i come from one of the farthest right districts in the country. i believe health and safety are important things to regulate. but i believe we should balance those regulations. you know, when we doubled the budget of the environmental protection agency between 2008 and 2009, where do you think that money went, madam speaker. the environment that i live in in georgia was clean and thriving in 2008. but when you double the amount of money that you give to regulators, they have only one thing they can do with it, an that's regulate more. regulate more. we need balance. and that's all these bills are asking for. there's not a -- i have all the committee reports if any of my
colleagues would like to look at them, there's not a line in any of these pailings that say thou shall not regulate. what it says is, thou shall regulate with balance. a friend of mine was walking through the occupy atlanta protest the other day a fellow came up and shook his fist at him, one of the protesters shook his fist at my friend and say, it's all about jobs. my friend looked him in the cry and said, that's right. you should go out and hire somebody. the guy said, i'm not talking about providing jobs, i want a job myself. that's right. every single bill this congress considers that helps job creators helps jobs. we've got to end the rhetoric of loving jobs and hating job creators, madam speaker. there's only one opportunity that we as americans have for employment and that is finding
an employer. and line after line after line of these bills say, before you funnish -- punish american industry, make sure the balance is there. let's be clear, madam speaker. it's not that these jobs don't have to be performed. time and time again i hear my colleagues bemoaning the fact that we're not creating jobs and i too bemoan the fact this this administration has not created jobs but that's not our only problem. our problem is jobs that are leaving this country, ma'am. our problem is destroying even more jobs. tri-is going to continue to operate around -- industry is going to continue to operate around this planet. we can either embrace it here in this country in a balanced way or we can run them all everseas. there's something i believe we sometimes do disagree about in this congress and that is that government cannot create jobs. government can create an environment in which job creators can create jobs.
i cannot pass a bill in this congress, no matter how hard i try, madam speaker, no matter how hard i work, that will make everybody in this country richism cannot do it but this congress has succeeded all too often at passing bills that can make everybody poor. plans, madam speaker, is what these bills contain. what this rule does, and it's important, because it's a new operation we're doing here in this house, i'm very proud of it, i hope my friends on the other side are proud. this is not an open rule today. i don't want to claim it is. what we did at the rule committees, we asked our colleagues, anyone who has a proposal that they believe will make these bills better, send those amendments to the rules committee for consideration. anybody. democrat, republican, send those amendments to the rules committee for consideration. this is what we did in the rules committee. we received six democratic amendments for h.r. 5 7. six ideas -- 527. six ideas from members of the
house, they all came from the democratic side of the aisle. and we made every single one of those ideas available for debate here on the house floor today. you didn't used to see that, under republican administrations or democratic administrations, that's what we're doing here in a bipartisan way. h r. 3010, sent out a notice to the entire congress, send your ideas for making h r. 3010 better, send them to the rules committee so we can consider them for consideration on the house floor. there were 12 ideas that were submitted, madam speaker, one republican idea, 11 democrat ideas. three of those democratic ideas were withdrawn. that leaves us with eight, and we brought all but one. my colleague from georgia, mr. johnson, his amendment was not made in order because my colleague, mr. olson, had an amendment that was
substantially similar. knowing that time is valuable on the house floor we want to consider ideas only once. seven democrats, one republican amendment made in order. i am not here to debate the underlying provisions. we provided time to do that. but i want to defend this rule as an example of what we ought to do. it's is it a little more convow -- is it a little more convoluted than i wish it was? yes, it is. it provides for time for debate on every single idea submitted. that's an important change in this house, madam speaker. i am grateful that we have been able to do it. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: madam speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mcgovern: i want my colleagues to understand that
one of the amendments they didn't make in order was the amendment offered by our colleague, congressman johnson, was basically stateing that if the experts conclude that if it had a net job creation, it shouldn't be blocked by all the stuff in this bill because we have jobs right now. it's interesting that's the one that my republican friends chose to block because it has to deal with jobs. another amendment that they blocked was one i offered. i offered it many, many times in the rules committee and that is to basically bring to the floor an amendment that would allow us to vote to strip big oil companies of taxpayer, you know, funded giveaways, subsidies is what i call them. and i tried to bring it up on the floor a gazillon different ways. i told there is germaneness issue. oftentimes the rules committee waives all the rules so that
sometimes nongermane amendments can come to the floor. i mean, when you talk about balance, the fact that taxpayers are subsidizing big oil companies that made over $100 billion in profit, you know, last year, continuing taxpayer subsidies to these big oil companies, yet, when you look at the republican budget that they passed they find ways to balance the budget on every single program that impact middle income and low-income people in this country. what they do is choose to balance the budget by lowering the quality of life and standard of living for everyday people. and those struggling to get in the middle. there's no balance here. there's no balance here. in terms of bipartisanship, the president of the united states came to this chamber and he gave a speech in which he outlined his jobs bill which included a number of initiatives all which had in the past enjoyed bipartisan support.
but i guess because he's president, he's democrat, republican leadership doesn't want to have those debates here on the floor, give him many victories because that might not be politically advantageousous to them. let's be frank about what's going on here. this is about in my opinion this is about political opportunism. this is about leadership of this house blocking important legislation to put people back to work. just because they can. just because it's been proposed by the president of the united states. we need to focus on jobs in this congress. we need to be focused on helping people get back to work. i don't care what part of the country you're from, people are hurting, people are struggling. and they are looking for us to do something, something meaningful. not to bring bills to the floor like this in the scheme of things mean nothing or to have these great debates over
reaffirming our national motto or on bills that make it easier for unsafe people to carry concealed weapons from state to state. i mean, we're debating those things when there are millions of people that are out of work i think is outrageous. and madam speaker, at this time i am proud to yield three minutes to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. andrews. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for three minutes. mr. andrews: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. andrews: thank you, madam speaker. madam speaker, as we stand here today i'd like us to pause for a moment and think about an american family that is not here, the husband works in a home depot, the wife works as an administrative assistant in the hospital and they make together about $50,000 a year. and they're among the fortunate americans who have jobs but they're frankly very worried because it seems like the harder they work the less ground they gain. they're going backwards the harder they work.
the house needs to understand that a month from tomorrow, unless this house acts, that family's taxes will rise by $1,000. a month from tomorrow unless the house and the other body and the president act, that family's taxes will go up by $1,000 a year. president obama has said he will sign legislation that prevents that tax increase from happening. the democratic leader of the other body, senator reid, has said he will move and support legislation that prevents that from happening. last night the minority leader, the republican leader of the other body indicated that he was now moving to a position in favor of legislation preventing that from happening.
house democrats are prepared at this moment on this bill, on this day to support legislation that will postpone that tax increase on middle-class families. the american people want us to work together, and i would trust that the vast majority of the american people would say that in these economic times working together to suspend $1,000 tax increase on a $50,000 a year family is something we ought to work together on. president obama agrees. senator reid agrees. it looks like senator mcconnell agrees. leader pelosi and the house democrats agree. but we don't have that bill on the floor this afternoon. this is our opportunity, colleagues, to move away from the daily back and forth of republican versus democrat politics and do something for which there is broad agreement
and i think urgent need. now, we have 30 days to get this done, and our track record is not very promising on meeting deadlines around here. my suggestion is let's move this agenda on this day at this time and put before the house a bill that would suspend this $1,000 tax increase on middle-class families, all wage earners across this country. certainly this is something we should agree. certainly this is the house should devote its time for and that's something we should act on it today. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from georgia. mr. woodall: madam speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. woodall: even though i am a freshman in this body i am trying to find metrics to find out what's happening here. the metric i found when debating a rule, the less they
talk about the rule the better job we did crafting it. we spend our time talking about other issues on the floor -- i happen to agree with my friend from new jersey. $1,000 for a family earning $50,000 a year, that's real money. now, i would say to my friend from massachusetts, if you take that $1.75 trillion burden that the small business administration tells us is upon the american people because of regulations, that's actually $5,000 per person, per person. that's $15,000 per three-member family. and so, yes, i agree with my friend from new jersey that we should cooperate on focusing on those burdens. the burden we are focusing on today even larger than what we are debating today. i'd be happy to yield to my friend. mr. andrews: will the majority put on this floor before the 31st of december a bill that
suspends this tax increase on middle-class americans? mr. woodall: my friend flatters me by thinking i have the information as a young freshman on the house floor. but i will tell you this, i tell you two things are true. it's a puzzler for me on the payroll tax holiday that's gone on this year. on the one hand i will tell you that republicans are part of lower taxes, not higher taxes. that speaks to this issue. we're also the party of making sure that we're paying for those commitments that we're making. social security is different from any other tax in that when i go and talk to my grandfather he says, rob, i want that social security. i paid into it all my life. well, we are not paying into it right now. the proposal is not to pay into it next year. the proposal was not to pay into it last year. i'd be interested to ask my friend if he's prepared to support lowering those social security benefits because, again, this is -- mr. andrews: will the gentleman yield? mr. woodall: i will yield. mr. andrews: i will not support that. i want a surtax on people
making more than $1 million a cover it. let me ask the gentleman another question. i understand there are differing views in his party and frankly ours as to whether an extension of the tax cut for middle-class families should continue. and i'm not asking him to say it would pass. that's beyond the reach of any member. even the speaker. but is the majority prepared to make a commitment to the american people, at least get to vote on it, that would let the majority work its will and vote yes or no on avoiding this tax increase on middle-class americans? mr. woodall: well, i would say to my friend that the majority, again, speaking out as a young freshman but i know enough about the leadership that the majority is protecting social security, not just for this generation but the next generation and beyond. and the question is going to be, can we find a proposal -- because the one that was passed last year was not a proposal that both lowered tax burdens and protected the solvency of medicare and social security. we must be sure not to further
bankrupt a program that we all agree is already going bankrupt. i look forward to that debate, madam speaker, between now and the end of the year, and it's not just that tax that's expiring. i know my friend is also concerned about the bush-obama tax cuts that were extended in december of 2010 and wants to be sure that those will be extended in 2011. and into 2013. mr. andrews: those income tax reductions were extended through december 31 of 2012. so there's not an urgent imminent to addressing that issue as there is to this. i put the question this way. i fully understand there are different views as to whether or not we should avoid this middle-class tax i crease. i'm simply asking whether -- tax increase. i'm simply asking whether the gentleman supports giving us a clear up-down vote on allowing that to happen? mr. woodall: i happen to support up-down votes on all
sorts of things. i believe the house works best when they work its will. that's the changes we have seen this year we have not seen in years' past. i think it's important, madam speaker, for us to bring those votes to the floor. but it's also important to make sure that folks have all the information in the same way folks might be tempted to mischaracterize these balancing provisions that we're bringing forth today as some sort of republican chicannory. and hasten the bankruptcy of social security as being something as no consequence at all. there are consequences to this decision. i say to my friend, i look to a robust debate on that because it's important to american families. with that, madam speaker, i'd like to reiterate h.r. 527, six democratic amendments offered, six democratic amendments made in order. the house works best when the house works its will.
this rule today is providing that opportunity. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves his time. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: i yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from new jersey. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for 30 seconds. mr. andrews: madam speaker, thank you. i thank my friend from georgia for engaging in good spirit in this dialogue. i want to make it clear, i think it's the position of our party very clearly, the house should vote on whether to avoid this $1,000 tax increase on the middle class. that's our position. i think you can hear that the minority position -- the majority position is a little more nuance than that. it's a yes or no question. we think there ought to be a vote on increasing the tax on the middle class. we're ready to put our cards in the machine and do that. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. mcgovern: madam speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mcgovern: my friend on the other side says his party likes to pay for things. that statement startled me a
little bit because they didn't think it was important to pay for the bush tax cuts. mostly for the rich which have now bankrupted us. they didn't think it was important to pay for the medicare prescription drug bill that was a lot more expensive than they promised. not paid for. they don't think about paying for the two wars that we're fighting in afghanistan and iraq. i mean, you know, we had balanced budgets when bill clinton left office. it was after that that everything got out of whack, and it was because of these tax cuts mostly for the wealthy, a prescription drug bill and two wars all of which were not paid for. . i hope my freppeds on the other side have timely got religion on this issue that it is important to try to pay for things as you go along. to embrace pay-go as democrats have done. and with that, madam speaker, i would like to yield two minutes to the the gentlewoman from california, ms. hahn. the speaker pro tempore: the the gentlewoman from california is
recognized for two minutes. ms. hahn: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to thank the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. mcgovern, for yielding me this time. mr. speaker, i just don't think americans can wait. and here we are today again debating legislation that will do nothing to create jobs or help families during these tough economic times. and i agree with my colleague from new jersey, we just think that there needs to be a vote on the house floor on this payroll tax cut which so far my friends on the other side are not agreeing to. you know, 120 million american families had $1,000 more in their pockets this past year because of the payroll tax holiday that we passed. and i believe we need to pass a
new middle tax cut, one that will save the typical family $1,500. now, i agree with my friend from georgia about job creators. i love job creators. but i think i have a different point of view on what helps our job creators. and what helps our small businesses. i spent saturday, november 26, small business saturday, shopping in small businesses. and i walked into every one of them and i talked to them about what would help them. what can we do in congress to help you as a small business? and almost every single one of them said, you know what we need? we need customers. we need americans to have jobs and we need them to have money in their pockets that they will
spend in our small businesses. that will help us and i guarantee if we got more customers, we would expand and we would hire more people. and you know that it's our small business that is have hired almost 60% of the new jobs that we had in this country. so $1,500 that will go back into the economy. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for an additional one minute. ms. hahn: we know that that $1,500 through this middle class tax cut would help businesses in this country. and i know we have been called the do-nothing congress, but in this instance if we do nothing, americans who can least afford it will see a tax increase come right after the holidays. and i dare say americans who will see that kind of a tax increase in january might worry about how they are spending
their money this december. and it may just affect their generosity not only to their own families but to those who are in need in this country. thank you. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. woodall: i yield myself such time as i may consume to say i'm always happy to find things i agree on across the aisle. i say to my friend from california we are both new in this house. i spent my saturday doing those very same things and my small business owners told me that very same thing. they told me one more thing, they said do get the foot of government off the throat of my small business. they did say, rob, you cannot help me by cog more but you can help -- by doing more but you can help me by doing less. you can help me by getting out of the way and letting me do what i do. the question then becomes how do we get those customers in that store? there are two visions for making that happen. we can either try to dispense more favors from washington,
d.c., mr. speaker. we can try to pump more money that we don't have that we are borrowing from our children and grandchildren out of washington, d.c. or we can try to get folks higher and better paying jobs. more jobs. and that's what this rule's about today, mr. speaker. we are running jobs out of this country. we are forcing jobs out of this country. the new report came out of over 150 nations, mr. speaker, we are number 69 in how easy it is for businesses to comply with the tax burden, for example. number 69. we should be the best place on earth to do business. what is it that raises salaries? sometimes my friend on the left suggests that we could just raise the minimum wage and just guarantee everybody money, but i don't believe we can. what we can do is give folks an opportunity to increase their productivity. mr. speaker, no worker on the planet works harder than the american worker. no worker on the planet has more
productivity than the american worker. and regulation after regulation after regulation slows the american worker down. you want to put more money in the american worker's pocket? you let the american worker be more productive by providing some balance. again, nothing we are talking about today, mr. speaker, says thousand -- thou shasht not regulate. we know we are going to regulate. what we are saying is let's regulate with balance. then my friends' small businesses and my small business also have those customers that they need to get this economy moving again. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. i just want to -- my colleagues to understand that if we were to extend the payroll tax, according to mark zandi, a republican economist, advised john mccain in his presidential campaign, that would create 750,000 jobs.
and he also says that we are likely to go into recession if a payroll tax expires, if my republican friends don't allow us to have a vote up or down on it, i'm going to ask people to vote no on a previous question so we can have an up or down vote and people have an opportunity to make their views known. the other thing is we heard this talk about the cost of regulation. again some of the numbers that have been touted here i question. very seriously. o.m.b.'s calculations demonstrate that regulation has a positive net effect on the economy and not by a little. in 2008 the bush administration's o.m.b. estimated that regulatory costs for major rules were between $46 billion and $54 billion. and the benefits of those regulations was between $122 billion and $656 billion. so it goes back to the point i was making earlier and that is, what we should be doing on this
floor today is debating a bill to put people back to work. we should be extending the payroll tax cut. we should also be talking about an issue that the president put forward, these bipartisan initiatives. we should be doing things that will make a real difference in people's lives. my friend talks about the american worker. there is no congress, no republican leadership in my lifetime that has been more hostile to the american worker than the leadership that runs this house right now. bringing bill after bill after bill to this floor to take away the rights of workers at every single level. you want to know one of the problems with jobs moving overseas? is that some of the incentives in our tax laws have made it easier and even attractive for companies to pack up and go overseas. and hire cheaper labor. one of the problems with these series of bills we are dealing with here today is that it will result in a rush to the bottom. in terms of regulation.
the lowest common denominator in terms of clean water and air standards. among other things this legislation says that we should take into consideration the standards in other countries. so china's going to now set our clean water and our clean air standards? give me a break. give me a break. let's get real. let's bring something to the floor that will make a difference in the lives of the american people. especially those who aren't employed. let's bring a real jobs bill to the floor. let's do something meaningful. i reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts reserves his time of the the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. woodall: i thank you, mr. speaker. we could likely go back and forth all day long with my friend from massachusetts believing that he loves workers more, with me believing me i love workers more. with them believing to define loving of workers means we have to regulate them differently from washington, d.c. for me loving workers means we
are going to free them to do those things they do best which is produce. but i have no further speakers remaining and i would ask my friend if he has further speakers. mr. mcgovern: we do. mr. woodall: i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia reserves. mr. mcgovern: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from georgia, a member of the judiciary committee, mr. johnson. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia, mr. johnson, is recognized. mr. mcgovern: whose amendment was not made in order by the rules committee. mr. johnson: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in opposition to this rule and the underlying bills. instead of creating jobs, the grover norquist tea party republicans are assaulting the very regulations that ensure we have clean air, safe water, and food along with safe prescription drugs and other products that americans consumer. they want us to create so many barriers and obstacles that it would essentially make it impossible for federal agencies
to do their jobs. all in the name of simply increasing the profits of big business. the regulatory accountability act would require agencies to perform 60 additional analyses, and other procedural actions within the rule making process further slowing down an already burdensome process. talking about bureaucratic red tape, they want to take it to the next level. they want to duct tape and blindfold and put a straitjacket on federal agencies issuing regulations that help americans. this would also make it much easier for large corporations to evade their obligations to protect the public by giving special interests multiple points in the process, to tie up the process in knots. the regulatory flexibility improvement act is no better. it's a wolf in sheep's clothing.
don't be fooled. this is not about helping small businesses, it's about halting regulations. and increasing the profits of big business. under the guise of small business protection, it would subject any regulation that could conceivably have any direct impact on small businesses to a more lengthy process thereby delaying the implementation of virtually any action, any agency proposes and wasting energy -- wasting agency time while doing so. i urge my colleagues to oppose this rule and the underlying bills. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia yields back. the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. the gentleman from georgia, mr. woodall, is recognized. mr. woodall: i reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: i'm the last speaker on our side. mr. speaker, i ask unanimous
consent to insert in the record the statement of administration policy which is opposed to this legislation. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, jobs, jobs, jobs. that's what we should be focusing on today. not guns, not abortion, not reaffirming our national motto, jobs. we need to put people back to work, but that doesn't seem to be part of the republican agenda. and it's hurting our country. at the end of this year as you have already heard during this debate the payroll tax cuts signed into law by president obama will expire. without action, middle class americans will see their taxes go up by $1,000 next year. without action, g.d.p. growth will fall by half a percent. and will cost the economy 400,000 jobs according to the economic forecasting group macroeconomic advisors. extending this tax cut is not just good for american families, it's good for the american
economy. according to amar'e prize financial, extending the payroll tax cut could add more than one million jobs to the economy. mr. speaker, this is the kind of legislation that we need to be debating. not right ring hot button social issues or bills when you add it up don't mean anything to anybody in this country. where is this extension of the payroll tax? it's not in this rule, it's not in the majority leader's schedule. in fact the republicans seem to be ignoring this issue. it's sad. it's sad that the republican leadership would rather raise taxes on middle class americans simply -- basically to protect tax breaks for mill yars -- millionaires. if there was a vote right now on a bill that was going to cut one penny out -- it was going to cause donald trump one penny more in taxes, the other side would be -- would overfill with speakers. but we are talking about middle income americans.
struggling americans. that if we don't act by the end of this year they will see a $1,000 increase in their taxes. now, we could change all that here today. we could change that here today and actually bring to the floor something that is meaningful. if we defeat the previous question, i will offer an amendment to the rule to require that we vote on a payroll tax holiday extension for next year. . if we don't pass an extension a little less will be in the paychecks. i ask unanimous consent to put the text of the amendment prior to the vote on the previous question. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. mcgovern: i urge my colleagues to vote no and defeat the previous question so we can make sure that working families do not see their payroll taxes go up while we're still struggling to recover from a recession. this is exactly the type of action that people all over the
country are hoping this congress will move on. i urge a no vote on the rule and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. mcgovern, has yielded back his time. the gentleman from georgia. mr. woodall: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. woodall: i'm proud to be here with you today. when we talk about jobs, jobs, jobs, that's why i came to congress and that is exactly what we are talking about in this rule today, and i hope, mr. speaker, you had seen with great concern what i have seen here today. and that is a complete disconnect, it appears, with my colleagues on the other side with the understanding that increasing regulation, needlessly increasing regulation burdens the american worker, undermines the american economy, thwarts jobs. and i say, mr. speaker, that
this is one of those things on which if we disagree we're just going to have to agree to disagree because if is as clear to me that the sky is blue that when you increase the regulatory burden you make the american family poorer for it. now, i'll -- i know i can't ask for a show of hands, mr. speaker, and i say, who wants dirtier drinking water in their district, who is it that doesn't drink from the same spigot as the rest of us, who is it that doesn't shop at the same grocery stores as the rest of us, who is it that doesn't drive on the same roads as the rest of us? we are all in this boat together. we are all in this boat together, mr. speaker. i come from the deep south. and when we talk about environmental issues, it always gets me so pumped up because nobody spends more time outside than i do. nobody cares more about the environment than i do. and yet time and time again you hear that characterization that somehow asking for a balanced
regulatory environment, a balanced regulatory environment is somehow anti-environment or anti-american. i must tell you, mr. speaker, these bills before us today, the regulatory flexibility improvement act, the regulatory accountability act, that's why i came to congress. that is why i came to congress. we cannot make everybody rich, but we can make everybody poorer, and when we regulate without regard to the benefits of that regulation, without regard to the burdens of that regulation, that's what we do. my friend quoted about the o.m.b., talking about the value of regulation. i don't dispute that at all. i am absolutely certain that there are some regulatory initiatives that do in fact produce a benefit. all i'm asking for is we balance that benefit by
whatever burden it causes. it's a rhetorical question, mr. speaker, but do folks honestly believe that the regulatory burden should exist irrespective of the benefits that it provides? that's what we do in these two pieces of legislation, mr. speaker, we ask regulatory agencies to examine those benefits and burden. now, i come from a district, as my friend from massachusetts talks about, partisan politics, i come from a district that was a proud no vote on both the ridiculous stimulus bills from the bush administration and the ridiculous stimulus bills from the obama administration. we are equal opportunity no votes on ridiculousness. and that is what we have here as we try to reclaim some regulatory authority from the executive branch agencies. i'll be the first to say, mr. speaker, i think the congress went a little light on president bush. i think the last two years the democratic congress went a little light on president obama. i think we had a constitutional
duty to defend our legislative prerogative to make the rules that this nation abides by. not an unelected bureaucrat downtown but elected officials right here in washington, d.c. we are here in the people's house. those that have to go hope and subject ourselves to voters every two years, this is where that authority belongs and we should have those votes, yes and no, we should have those votes on whether or not that's our shared vision of america. i am going to get a little offtopic, mr. speaker. it's clear to me we are going to be talking about the payroll tax over the next week or 10 days. i want to encourage all of my colleagues to understand that's not a free discussion. every penny thaw choose not to deposit in the social security -- that you choose not to deposit in the social security frund is the closer to
bankruptcy the social security trust fund comes. it is easy, it is easy to say you are going to get something for nothing but we're not. $15 trillion in debt, mr. speaker. $15 trillion. we've already been given away something for nothing for far too long. the question is, how can we both help the middle-class taxpayer with their tax burden and preserve social security for generations to come? it's not a freeby, mr. speaker. -- freebie, mr. speaker. these are tough questions that ask serious questions. not on a motion to recommit. not on a motion to instruct, but in thoughtful consideration from the committee. both the underlying provision and the rule itself has gone through regular order. mr. speaker, there's no need to rush these bills to the floor. we can take them through the process to make sure that they are thoughtfully examined line by line by line, and these
bills have been. interestingly enough, mr. speaker, that's all these bills are asking of our administrative branch agencies, that the regulations that they are promulgating be examined line by line by line to make certain that the benefits outweigh the burdens. it's a surprise to me, mr. speaker, this is something we are even arguing about today. i think it's common sense. certainly in my district it's common sense. perhaps other constituencies feel different. balancing the benefits with the burdens. don't let folks tell you, mr. speaker, that regulations come without a burden. i'll tell you a good example. i got a cardboard box manufacturer in my district. may not be glamorous work but it's important work. i was visiting the plant the other day. they said, robb, when they were -- rob, when they were talking about the ethanol regulations, did they talk about the impact
the ethanol regulations would have on cardboard boxes? i said, no. when you insert ethanol in a gallon of gasoline, you decided you were going to raise the price of corn and we use cornstarch in the glue that holds our boxes together. and we use cornstarch with our fiber to make our boxes stronger. and every time you pass a regulation that increases the use of ethanol and decreases the availability of corn to other sources, you raise the price of our boxes. you produce boxes anywhere in the world and if we can't stay competitive we are going to lose this business overseas. mr. speaker, there are unintended consequences to the work of this body every single day, and the arrogance to believe we can foresee them all astonishes me. we must understand our fallablity. we must understand that we cannot foresee all those
consequences and so every time we have an opportunity to measure, mr. speaker, every opportunity to look at the pros and the cons to ensure we are getting it right, mr. speaker, every time we pass a regulation we steal freedom from someone somewhere. understand that. every time we pass a regulation we steal freedom from somebody somewhere. our government is a social contract where we agree to give up individual liberty so we can exist collectively. we have public services fore safety, for fire, on and on -- for safety, for fire, on and on and on but it comes at the expense of personal liberty but we decide that the expense is worth it. mr. speaker, these bills do that today. balance benefits and burdens, provide that information to the american voter and let's make sure that what we're doing is worth it. mr. speaker, this is an example of how one ought to do a rule,
how one ought to open up the process, how one ought to encourage debate on all of the ideas that are brought to this house floor. i encourage strong support for this rule. i encourage strong support for the underlying legislation. and with that i yield back the balance of my time and i move the previous question. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on ordering the previous question on the resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the noes have it. the gentleman from georgia, mr. woodall. mr. woodall: i ask for the yeas and nays, please, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question will be postponed.
legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on h.r. 3094. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. pursuant to house resolution 470 and rule 18, the chair declares the house in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for consideration -- for the consideration of h.r. 3094. the chair appoints the gentleman from texas, mr. poe, to preside over the committee of the whole. the chair: the house is in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for consideration of h.r. 3094. the clerk will report by title. the clerk: a bill to amend the national labor relations act with respect to representation hearings and the timing of elections of labor organizations under that act. the chair: pursuant to the
rule, the bill is considered as read for the first time. the gentleman from minnesota, mr. kline, and the gentleman from california, mr. george miller, each will control 30 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from minnesota, mr. kline. mr. kline: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, i rise in support of h.r. 3094, the work force democracy and fairness act and yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. clines: thank you, mr. chairman. the -- mr. kline: thank you, mr. chairman. across the country, the american people are asking, how can we get this economy moving again, what will it take to finally put people back to work? and washington is responding with a number of answers. some think we should support more spending, more taxes and more regulations. in essence they're asking the country to double down on the same failed policies of the
past. my republican colleagues and i believe we should chart a different course, one that includes removing regulatory roadblocks to job creation. the work force democracy and fairness act is part of that effort. the legislation says we shouldn't allow unelected bureaucrats to dictate policies that make our workplaces less competitive. in june, the national labor relations board proposed sweeping changes to the rules governing union elections. under the board's radical scheme, employers would have just seven days to find an attorney and navigate a host of complicated legal issues before confronting an nlrb election official. employees will have as little as 10 days. 10 days, mr. chairman, to decide whether they want to join a union, denying them an opportunity to gain valuable information and make an informed decision. the nlrb is already telling employers like boeing where they can and cannot create jobs. now, the board wants to take
away a worker's right to make a fully informed decision in the union election. this proposal largely prohibits employers from raising additional legal concerns, denies answers to questions that can influence the vote and turns over to union leaders even more personal employee information. . let's get something straight. the board scheme isn't about modernizing the election process. this is a draconian effort to stifle employers' speech and ambush workers with a union election. less debate, less information, and less opposition. that's big labor's approach to workers' free choice and it's being rapidly implemented by the activists nlrb. mr. speaker, for four years democrats controlled this congress. to my knowledge not once did they try to streamline the union election process, not once. they did champion a failed effort to strip workers of their right to a secret ballot, but they didn't bother to offer any
solutions to the alleged problems they now say plague the election process. today union elections take place on an average of 31 days, giving workers a month to consider the monumental question of whether or not to join a union. one month. cases where delays have occurred? yes. without a doubt these are the exceptions to the rule, and former and current members of the nlrb have cited partisan shifts on the board as the leading cause of such delay. a broken board is no excuse for trampling on the rights of american workers. i'm aware the board recently revised, meaning yesterday, its earlier proposal and setaside some of the more egregious provisions, however the latest iterations still denies employers access to a fair election process, still drives workers of the opportunity to make a fully informed decision, and still perpetuates the threat of more punitive measures in the
future. the board teams utterly determined to finalize a flawed proposal regardless of the damage to the integrity of the board and our workplaces. we must act now. the work force democracy and fairness act reaffirms work force protections our nation has enjoyed for decades. employers currently have a fair opportunity to prepare for a pre-election hearing. the bill ensures employers have at least 14 days, two weeks, a fair opportunity to prepare for the hearing. employers and unions can currently seek board review of issues raised before the election of the the bill preserves their right to seek board review before the election. workers currently have an average of 31 days to decide their vote. the bill guarantees workers at least 35 days. before the board's reckless specialty health care decision, a commonsense standard determined which employees would participate in the election. once again, h.r. 3094 takes
steps to restore traditional standard, ensuring employees continue to have freedom and opportunities in the workplace and employers can effectively manage their labor costs. despite the heated rhetoric we will hear from opponents today, the bill is a responsible effort to set in law, set in law, mr. chairman, protections workers and employers have long enjoyed. i urge my colleagues to support the bill and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota reserves. the gentleman from california, mr. miller, is recognized. mr. miller: i yield two minutes to the gentlewoman from new york, ms. slaughter a. member of the rules committee. the chair: the gentlewoman from new york is recognized for two minutes. ms. slaughter: thank you, sir. i appreciate the gentleman yielding. mr. speaker, with millions of americans out of work, job creation certainly should be the number one priority of this congress. and yet where are we today? not creating any jobs here. but when using the precious
floor time considering the bill that attacks the rights of all american workers and has no chance of becoming law. that unfortunately is something we do week after week here. as my colleagues have pointed out, rather than minimizing delay in union voting procedure, today's bill mandates delay. the bill empowers employers to interfere in union elections by adding anti-union employees to voting blocks, gerrymandering the elections. that by itself should be enough to vote against this bill. letting employer delay and manipulate union elections is an attempt to put the fox in charge of the hen house. it is a direct attack on the ability of workers to bargain collectively to protect their rights and we have seen in america with lots of protests and uprisings that american citizens don't like that so much. now, wherever you work, whether it's union or not, if you appreciate a 40-hour workweek,
for sick leave and vacation days, for safer working conditions, don't blame the men and women for the unemployment crisis, but thank them for bringing those things to you. it was not a ben nevillent employer that gave you those. it was the union movement. rather than considering a bill to attack the american worker, we should be working together as we plea on the floor day after day to create jobs so the american people's situation gross more dire every day. so i urge my colleagues to oppose this bill and see if we can get to work to create jobs. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. kline: thank you, mr. chairman. the gentlelady just said we should be addressing legislation to create jobs. that's exactly what we are doing today. at this time i'm very pleased to yield three minutes to the chairman of the subcommittee on health employment and labor pensions, the gentleman from
tennessee, mr. roe. the chair: the gentleman from tennessee is recognized for three minutes. mr. roe: thank you, mr. chairman. i rise today to urge my colleagues to support the work force democracy and protection act. our country is in the middle of a jobs crisis. the national unemployment rate is hovering at 9%, in tennessee where i live it's higher. millions of american families are struggling to make ends meet. amidst this economic uncertainty, the house has passed over 20 bills, jobs bills, that would help secure our economy that's sitting on the senate side right down the hallway here unvoted on. sadly the senate isn't the only road block to economic recovery, that's why we are here today. to rein in a national labor relations board that's run amuck. i grew up in a union household. my father was a member of the united rubber workers union and i know about this. lived with it. grew up with it. in june what problem are we trying to fix? currently elections are held as the chairman said within 31 days and unions win almost 70% of the
elections held. let's say the first of october of this year you wanted to have an election, by the end of that month you could vote on whether a worker wanted to be in the union or not. a very fair process. if this rule goes into effect as he said, seven days for an employer to find representation to go through over 400 pages of rules, on this very complicated subject, it gets worse. rely only 10 days, as little as 10 days, to vote. so a worker would have to make their mind up in some cases, it could be as quick as 10 days. imagine voting on the presidency of the ubs in -- united states in 10 days. it gets worse. workers would then be required by law to hand over personal information. what we want to do is allow the employee to decide what information is given to the union about how they want to get contacted. mr. speaker -- mr. chairman, i should say, this just isn't right. nor is the national labor relations decision to redefine
how a bargaining unit is determined right. instead of creating jobs, employers will be forced to negotiate with a multitude of small bargaining units which will raise labor costs and destroy possibility of advancement opportunities. something must be done to restore the fairness to the union election process. that's why i'm a proud co-sponsor of this legislation. the bill simply does this. gives 14 days to pass before a pre-election hearing is held. this hearing will allow both sides to raise any relevant or material issues in a nonadversarial environment. it would protect the workers' right to make an informed choice by requiring an election take place in not less than 35 days. we owe it to our constituents, let them hear both sides of the story, and make up their own minds. workers' privacy should also be protected. allowing the employers of a union's access to what the employee decides they want to be contacted. this bill also restores long-standing rules for defining what a bargaining unit is. it's over three decades of
rules. mr. chairman, there's only one way i can describe this bill as common sense. i respect the right of the workers to form unions. that's their right under the law. but i believe that the union election should follow a proses is that is balanced and protects the rights of employees and employers. not just the unions. i urge support of this bill and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back his time of the the gentleman from minnesota reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. miller: i yield myself four minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for four minutes. mr. miller: mr. speaker, members of the house. during the depth of the great depression congress gave the american worker the right to band together with co-workers and bargain for a better life. for more than 75 years the national labor relations acted to vest the ultimate decision to form or belong to a union with the workers themselves. the principle underlying this law when workers decide they want a union, they should get a union. these rights and this law have served this country well.
it's built the middle class. brought us the 40-hour workweek, safe workplaces. these rights ensure that economically secure families the prospect that our children could build even a better life. these rights have been an unqualified success. they help to create an economic engine unparalleled in the history of the world. but especially this year forces have gathered that would do anything to take away those rights from american workers, from american families. these forces subscribe to the pervis ideology that says workers should just accept whatever the powerful decide that's good enough for them and that's the end of the discussion. they use real crises as an excuse to gain more power. we have seen it in wisconsin and ohio across the country where the real goal was to takeway the rights of workers not to solve the economic problems of those states. where the real goal was to constrain workers from collective bargaining process not to deal with the economic problems of those states. where they don't control the
state houses and state legislatures, they have come to the congress of the united states. this bill today is part of that scheme. this bill is part of a national effort by the republican party, by the chamber of commerce, and the business -- much of the business community in this country to strip workers of their rights at work. to take ordinary working men and women and they will them they will have no right to join a union. they will not be able to gather for an election because this legislation prevents that election from happening. how does it do that? it does that, one, by having the employer be in the bargaining unit. not the employee as is dictated under the law and as affirmed by this congress over and over again. that decision belongs to them. how does it do that? it stuffs the ballot box at the outset and the employer making up the bargaining unit as opposed to the employee. then they throw in the ability to have whatever frivolous appeals, issues you want to
raise, no matter how frivolous, they must be raised before this time, before the election, and all of the appeals must be decided. so while they talk about how this gives us a tight time frame, what we see is endless delays, endless running up of legal costs, of attorneys on both sides, all in the idea of buying time for the employer to intimidate the employees from joining the union, to constantly hold businesses in the workplace, face to face businesses, to advocate against the union so they can turn around the decision that the employees essentially have made when they say we want to go to an election, we want to have a union. this is our bargaining unit. and that's the goal here is to destroy the ability ofdest y th to function. and you cannot have the situation where that exists in this country because this law is not only important to employees in the workplace, it's important to millions, millions of
americans who are in the middle class in this economy today. these are people who are there because of the collective bargaining rights of people over the last 75 years in this country to bring the benefits, to bring the wages, to bring the job security, to bring the health care benefits, to bring the pension benefits, and protections to middle class families. we have seen as the unions have declined, so have the wages, so have the benefits of workers to their own productivity. the american worker continues to increase their productivity. they are the most productive workers in almost every sector of our economy in the world. and yet more more of their productivity is being siphoned off by the 1% if you will. by the employers who decide they need more bonus, by the employers who decide they need bigger paychecks, by the employers who decide they need more shareholder dividend. employers who decide they need more golden parachutes. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. miller: that's what this is about. it's about stealing from the american workers and not giving
them a right to continue to bargain for the benefit of their families and their community. we ought to reject this bill today. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. kline: thank you. mr. chairman, i'd like to yield two minutes to the chairman of the subcommittee on work force protections, the gentleman from michigan, mr. walberg. the chair: the gentleman from michigan is recognized for two minutes. mr. walberg: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. speaker, as i a former united steel workers union member stand here today, the unemployment rate in michigan stands at 10.6% and in areas of my district it is as high as 14%. our primary focus in congress as passed in the republican jobs plan and seated in the senate right now, our primary focus is to get burdensome governments regulations out of our way and out of the way of the american people and let them get back to
work. the national labor relations board has taken actions that directly oppose american job providers and job creators. how can any michiganian operating a business expect to compete on a level playing field with nlrb membership like craig becker who once wrote, and i quote, employers should be stripped of any legally interest in their employees' election of representatives. and also that, and i quote, employers have no standing to insert -- to assert their employees' right to fair representation. . in their recent action to create an ambush-style election process, the nlrb took a special interest attorney over the will of the american people. the rogue majority of the nlrb wants to set conditions that stifle job creation and expansion. job creators are terror find of the nlrb's actions to create an ambush-style election process
that will prevent employees from making an informed decision. and more stunningly, they reversed 30 years of precedent through their specially health care decision which would allow unions to carve up a work site however they choose. america's job creators and work force deserve fairness to ensure that union representations like elections for our political leadership are done in a just manner that allow all participants to make an informed decision on their representation status. the work force democracy and fairness act will ensure that employees and employers will have a level playing field that the nlrb and its special interest allies are determined to tilt. and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from minnesota reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. miller: i recognize the gentleman from new jersey, mr. andrews, the ranking member of
the committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for how many minutes? -- the chair: the gentleman is recognized for how many minutes? the gentleman from california has yielded time to the gentleman from new jersey but for how many minutes? mr. miller: three. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. andrews: mr. chairman, the american dreams have been based on a basic deal -- if you go to work every day and work as hard as you can, you'll make a decent wage. if you get sick and have to go to the hospital, you'll have health benefits that means you won't lose everything you have because you got sick. at the end of the 40th hour of the week your time belongs to you and your family, not to your boss, unless your boss is willing to pay you time and a half. and you don't have to work until the day you die because you can earn a decent pension and spend the golden moments
and days of your life taking care of your grandchildren and family. that's the deal. none of that existed for most americans before collective bargaining existed. america has a middle class because america has collective bargaining. this bill is not about the number of days before an election or the size of a bargaining unit. this bill raises the issue of whether you truly believe in collective bargaining. and what this bill does is say to the minority of employers in america, and i think they are the minority by far, who would choose to subvert an election process, who would choose to intimidate and coerce their workers into voting against a union, this bill gives them the road map of exactly how to do that. it is a subversion of the
american middle class because it's a subversion of collective bargaining. our grand fathers and grand mothers stood on picket lines to fight for collective bargaining. the people of ohio stood on election day to fight for collective bargaining. colleagues, let us together stand today against this legislation and for collective bargaining and the american middle class. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from minnesota, mr. kline, is recognized. mr. kline: mr. chairman, at this time i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the gentlelady from alabama, mrs. roby. the chair: the gentleman from alabama is recognized for two minutes. mrs. roby: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, i rise today in support of h.r. 3094, the work force democracy and fairness act, a bill i proudly sponsor. as a representative from
alabama, a right to work state, the continued activist agenda of the national labor relations board is alarming. its proposed rules are a clear example that the white house and the nlrb are committed to a culture of union favoritism. the nlrb's proposals undermine the rights of employers and employees by empowering unions to manipulate the work force for their own gain. the work force democracy and fairness act is one of many bills put forward by my republican colleagues that will prevent the nlrb from imposing sweeping changes to our nation's workplaces. additionally and most importantly, this bill restores key labor protections that both workers and employers have enjoyed for decades. i want to say that again.
this bill restores key labor protections that both workers and employers have already enjoyed for decades. congress has the responsibility to ensure that the nlrb's labor interests are not undermining an employer's efforts to create jobs and grow their businesses. at a time when approximately 14 million americans are unemployed and searching for work, not to mention the millions that have given up, congress must implement policies that encourage new jobs, not hinder them. this legislation will rein in the activist nlrb and we affirm protections workers and job creators have received for decades. thank you, mr. chairman, and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady from alabama yields back her time. the gentleman from minnesota reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. miller: i yield two minutes
to the gentlewoman from california, ms. woolsey, the the ranking subcommittee member of the committee. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized for two minutes. ms. woolsey: h.r. 3094, the so-called work force democracy and fairness act, what a great title for legislation that assaults the majority's year-long war against unions, against workers and the national labor relations board. this is just the latest of that, and they gave it this wonderful title. since they took control of this body in january, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have been doing everything in their power to stack the deck begins labor unions and those who aspire to join them. seemingly, the bills they bring to the floor are designed to make life easier for the corporate special interests and, as usual, hard-earned workers who just want a fair shake.
curious, since the labor movement is the most powerful force for economic security and upper mobility that we have in this country and unions are the reason there is a strong middle class in the united states of america that they would want to attack it. we need to remove obstacles to union elections and we need to create ways for members to join unions, not prevent them from being union members. it's baffling to me that my republican friends from absolutely no plans to create any kind of job, but a carefully orchestrated plan to undermine the rights and protections of working people. instead of helping people who are reeling from this sluggish economy, they work to create distractions and to create scapegoats. mr. speaker, workers deserve better than a government of, by and the wealthiest 1%.
vote no on h.r. 3094. mr. chairman, i'd like to ask unanimous consent to enter a letter from the a.f.l. that expresses their views against this legislation. i'd like to enter their words into the record. the chair: the gentlelady's request will be covered by general leave and the time has expired by the gentlelady from california. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. kline: mr. chairman, i'm very pleased to yield to another member of the committee one minute, the gentleman from nevada, dr. heck. the chair: the gentleman from nevada is recognized for one minute. mr. heck: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, i rise today to pose an important question to nevadans -- how would you feel about having only 10 days' notice that an election would be held? that would give you only 10 days to research the candidates and find out where they stand on the issues. 10 days to decide who best
represents you, your voice, your values. and to my distinguished colleagues in this body, how do you think your constituents would react if we changed the law so that they had only 10 days' notice that an election would be held? it would be unconscionable for congress to advocate its responsibility and allow a board of unelected bureaucrats to do something that this body would never do itself. that's the debate today, whether or not congress allows the national labor relations board to radcally change the way union -- radically change the way union elections are governed with little or no input from those most affected by by this decision. i ask my colleagues to vote yes for the work force democracy and fairness act. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from nevada yields back. the gentleman from minnesota reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. miller: two minutes to the gentleman from new jersey, mr.
payne, a member of the committee. the chair: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for two minutes. mr. payne: thank you, mr. chairman. the h.r. 3094, the work force democracy and fairness act, really as you know should be called the election prevention act. i'm grateful concerned about today's -- i'm gravely concerned about today's legislative proposal. current law says that workers should be able to associate with other units, enter any appropriate bargaining unit. this bill says that every worker should be in a bargaining unit unless proven otherwise. that's just the reverse of the way law should be. it allows employers to stuff the ballot boxes with workers who are not engaged in the organizing drive in the first place, therefore, likely to vote no. it increases the chances that workers petition for an election will be rejected which
the nlrb has proposed rule which is would eliminate loopholes in current law that allows unscrupulous employers to delay elections, frustrating workers' efforts to organize this would impose arbitrary delays and block those pending nlrb rules to eliminate avoidable delays. the fact of the matter is this bill encourages frivolous litigation. the original bill provides employers with an unqualitied right to raise a new issue at any point in the pre-election hearing in order to drag out the hearing. this would include any issue that may reasonably be expected to impact the election's outcome this bill does not limit these problems but states that these issues, even when immaterial to an election are considered relevant.
based on this fact, a hearing could go on indefinitely. that's what the purpose of this is furthermore, parties could bring up issues such as economic conditions, unfair labor practices or other items not normally considered in hearings. this seems to require that the board must finish a request for review before any election can be directed. this will encourage employees to file requests, mr. chairman, i ask unanimous consent to add three letters into the record. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's -- the chair: the gentleman's request is covered under general leave. the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california reserves, the gentleman from minnesota. mr. payne: may i have 15 seconds, mr. chairman. >> i yield the gentleman 15 seconds. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for 15 seconds. mr. payne: i'd like to include in the record a letter from the
national other space workers a letter from a building and construction trade, president mark ayers, an an -- a letter from the sciu's international president. yield back the balance of my time. the gentleman continues to reserve. the gentleman is recognized. >> mr. chairman, i'd like to yield two minutes to another distinguished member of the committee, the gentleman from florida, mr. ross. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman veck -- the chair: the gentleman veck niced for two minutes. mr. ross: thank you mr. chairman an thank you for bringing forth this most necessary legislation. i rise in support of house resolution 3094. simply put the national labor relations board has lost all credibility. from its anti-american attack on boeing to its inability to allow delta employees to choose their own labor future, the nlrb has become nothing more than a taxpayer funded big
payer advocate. this act is just what it says it is, legislation that if passed will enshrine the rights of workers to both information and choice, two things my friends on the other side of the aisle believe in as well. what's truly sad is that taxpayers already living under the exploding debt are paying the salaries of nlrb attorneys and administrators to ship jobs overseas. the proposed rule requiring lech be held in as little as 10 days gives workers virtually no opportunity to inform themselves about their right, show how radical this nlrb has become, we must ask ourselves when, in the history of this great republic, has shortening the time for an election been considered more fair? we hear members from the other side of the aisle saying even requiring some to show identification to vote is unfair and restrictive but
drastically cutting short the time for an election is more fair? as if that was not radical enough, the decision on microunions overturns 30 years of successful precedent. for example, at retail stores, multiple labor unions could target and organize different groups of workers. department managers, stock clerks and security guards could form separate unions this will pit worker against worker and they'll spen more time working with unions than focusing on their jobs an business. the question we must ask is what are they so afraid of? the answer is, they are afraid of an american worker free to work hard and earn the fruits of that labor. they're afraid of the american worker given the right to choose their own future. i don't know about anyone else, but i trust the american worker to make the right decision. i don't trust the government. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized.
mr. miller: i yield two minutes to the gentleman, mr. kucinich. the speaker pro tempore: -- the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. kucinich: the right to organize is a fundamental right of society. workers' rights are human rights. this bill seeks to frustrate workers rights to an lech through attacking the national labor relations board. today, workers have to wait an average of 121 days to cast a bat lot in an election. 101 days to wait for union representation. how long should work verse to wait to be able to assert their fundamental rights in a democratic society, if we really believe in democracy? some of us believe that when a majority of workers want to be able to have a union, they should be able to do so forthwith. we believe in government of the
people. why, then, would corporations want to block or frustrate the right of workers to organize? i think it's obvious. when workers are organized they have the ability to be able to participate in being able to say what their wages are worth. this is about wages, it's about benefits, it's about workplace safety, about working conditions. workers' rights are human rights. this assault on the nlrb is translated into a fundamental assault on our democracy. if we believe in democracy, we believe in a right to organize a right to collective bar geaning, a right to decent wages an benefit a right to a secure environment a right to workers to participate in a secure environment. this is america, let's lift up the standard of workers, not attack it by making the day of their election and claiming a
union farther and farther away, almost to the point of nullification. stand up for he american workers, defeat this bill. the chair: the gentleman from ohio yields back. the gentleman from california resevens. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. kline: i yield two minutes to the distinguished gentleman from virginia, mr. hurt. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. hurt: i rise in support of the bill offered by chairman kline and thank him for his leadership on this issue. we have seen a vast expansion in the size and scope of the fovet which has resulted in a suffering economy and job market and unfriendly business environment for job creation and investment. a recent troubling example of the overreach is the national labor relation board's rule making which would alter the procedures that govern union elections. this would do little more than
empower big labor bosses by restricting employers from talking to employees in the process, preventing them gaining access to critical information necessary for their votes and diminishing the fundamental rights of employees and employers around the country this government intervention in the workplace is an attack on our economic freedom and will only provide more uncertainty in our economy at a time when we are struggling to recover. with far too many fifty district virginians and americans out of work we must put an end to arbitrary rule making that comprise the nlrb. we must provide our job creators the opportunity to hire and grow out the uncertainty caused by unnecessary an burden somebody government regulations. we must preserve the protections and freedoms that american workers deserve, allowing them to participate in a full an fair election process. i urge my colleagues to support this important legislation and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia yields back. the gentleman from minnesota --
the chair: the gentleman from virginia yields back his time they feel gentleman from minnesota reserves. mr. miller: i yield one minute to ms. pelosi. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. pelosi: i thank the gentleman for yielding and for his leadership on behalf of working families and for bringing the opposition to this legislation to the floor today. mr. speaker, and my colleagues, more than 75 years ago, president franklin roos vell signed a bill which created the national labor relations board and said he did so to give every worker the freedom of choice and action which is justly his. today we say which is justly his or hers. that was a very important moment for workers because it said that they could negotiate, they could bargain collectively. giving great leverage to workers in our country. an it was necessary.
the freedom of choice in action has rested at the core of a growing, thriving american work force. it has created the american middle class that has made our country great and is the back bone of our democracy. this legislation on the floor today undermines freedom of choice in action. it will weaken our middle class and again weaken our democracy. for months in wisconsin, ohio and other states nationwide, americans have seen republican governors and legislatures attack teachers, firefighters, and police officers and other publicer is vabts. and we've -- servants and we've seen american workers, union and nonunion alike, fight back, inspiring the nation. my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have promoted many myths about what their misguided legislation that
they're bringing forward today and how it will impact the national labor relations board. so i'd like to clarify a few facts. first, the bill -- this bill mandates delay. rather than minimizes it. it encourages frivolous litigation rather than discourages it. it convolutes and distort elections rather than simplifying them. simply put, this legislation would deny workers their right to a free and fair election to form a union. it adds extensive delay to the process as workers organize with the clear intention of, if my colleague, congressman george miller, the ranking member of the labor -- education and labor committee has said, wearing down workers so they give up fighting for a better deal. it's an age-old tactic. it must be rejected. at a time when americans are
demanding jobs and job growth, economic growth for our country, today's legislation is the long -- wrong priority. we need to be solving the problem an challenge of creating jobs and not adding to the problems as this bill would do. there's a great deal of work to be done, reigniting the american dream. igniting the american dream is what franklin roosevelt did when he siped this bill and many other initiatives of that era. and they corrected many ills in our economy and our society and communities across the country in terms of fairness. fairness, an american value. so we want to reignite the american dream to build ladders of success for all who want to work hard, play by the rules, remove obstacles to fuller participation in our economy so
that many more workers can participate in america's prosperity. this is about, again, strengthening the middle class, the back bone of our democracy, instead this legislation will have the opposite effect of eroding rights and opportunity. i urge my colleagues to vote no. i yield back the mans of my time. the chair: the gentlelady from california yields back. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. kline: can i inquire as to the time remaining on each side. the chair: the gentleman from minnesota has 13 1/2 minutes. and the gentleman from california has 14 3/4 minutes left. the gentleman from minnesota. mr. kline: i'll be submitting to the record this letter from the polish democratic work force with 243 associations in support of this legislation. now i'm pleased to yield two
minutes to another member of the committee, the distinguished gentleman from indiana, dr. brow shon. the chair: the gentleman's request is covered under general leave. the gentleman is recognized. mr. brew shon: the national -- >> the national labor relations board has had a bias in decision making. though this addresses several onerous rules i want to focus on one in particular. on august 1 of this year, the brd overturned decades of precedent with its decision in the health care case and by standing up to this we can stop an out of control agency from causing irreparable harm to workers across the nation. mr. bucshon: they will no
longer -- this will encourage unions to create the smallest so-called microunions possible and could result in employers having to negotiate with multiple units within their own business, and this undermines the workers' ability to think about whether to join a union and may potentially fracture the work force. h r. 3094 reinstates, i should say again, reinstates the decisional standard for derchg employees make up an appropriate bargaining unit. this bill is about fairness for workers and employers. it returns the board to the precedent that it has operated on for the last 20 to 30 years urn both republican and democratic administrations. returning to this precedent will provide certainty and clarity to workers and employers and it will undue -- dun do the biased behavior of the current board. i support this bill and urge my colleagues to do the same. i yield back the balance of my
time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from minnesota resevens. the jell from california is recognized. mr. miller: i yield two minutes to mr. holt. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. holt: i thank the gentleman. today the majority is showing the american public again that the majority doesn't think we have a jobs crisis in america. getting americans pack to work is not their top priority. getting the american economy back on track and creating jobs is my first, second, and third priority. and until the majority gets to work, we're not going to move this country forward. democrats remain committed to creating jobs immediately and expanding educational opportunity for all americans. and rather than bringing to the floor legislation to help create jobs, we're wasting time with this attempt to undermine workest' right the right to
organize, to have safe working conditions, fair wages, you know, on monday night, i had a town hall and not one person, not one, wanted to talk with me about the nlrb or its rule making. many wanted to talk about job creation. wanted to make sure we were investing in our children's education. i offered an amendment to this bill to help keep teachers in the children's classrooms. i offered a real solution to a real problem. not a special interest giveaway to big business. unfortunately, the majority blocked my amendment on procedural grounds. now across the country, budget cuts and teacher layoffs forced schools to reduce days of the school year or cut classes in literacy or arts or music or physical education or increase class sizes or reduce library hours. my amendment would have invested in a work force -- in our work force, my amendment would have supported nearly 400,000 education jobs.
enough for states to avoid harmful layoffs and rehire tens of thousands of teachers who lost their jobs over recren years. i heard from a student who said, teacher layoffs is a bad thing, he said. i had many oversized classes this year. our students don't get a second chance to achieve in school. our future depends on a well-educated work force. that's what we should be doing -- dealing with today. my amendment would have supported our children, this bill ignores those pleas for help. the chair: the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. kline: thank you, mr. chairman. i am pleased to yield to another distinguished member of the committee, four minutes, the gentleman from south carolina, mr. gowdy. the chair: the gentleman is reck thesed for four minutes. mr. gowdy: thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank chairman kline for his leadership on this and so many issues, other issues on the education work force
committee. mr. chairman, when so many of our fellow citizens are looking for work, when so many of our fellow citizens want nothing more than to be able to meet their familiaral obligations and their obligations to the -- familyal obligations and their obligations to the demuent, -- community, when so many americans want nothing more than the most fundamental of all family values which a job and they look and they see that america is increasingly competing with other countries for work, it is no longer just competition among the states. we're competing with other countries for work. and the nlrb continues to pursue an activist, politically motivated agenda, thwarting economic recovery and continuing to place our companies at a competitive disadvantage worldwide and, mr. chairman, virtually everyone is family with the most glaring example of nlrb overreach and union pandering which is the complaint
against boeing, despite not a single example of a job being lost in washington state, despite not a single example of a worker losing a single benefit or right in washington state, the nlrb sued boeing seeking to have boeing close its south carolina facility, mothballing a $1 billion facility, displacing 1,000 workers and return the work to washington state. and then, mr. chairman, they had the unmitigated temerity, as we recently learned, to joke about it in emails. to joke about a competitor called airbus which is boeing's number one competitor. wanting work and not getting it is not a laughing matter. boeing is exhibit a. among the evidentry reasons that the nlrb has overreached its statutory mission, but it is not the only piece of evidence, mr.
chairman. currently union elections take place on average within 31 days of the filing of an election petition. additionally unions are victorious more often than not when there is an election, but, mr. chairman, that's not good enough. the nlrb wants more. so they proposed sweeping changes to the election process, shifting the balance of power even further towards union seeking employees by promoting rush elections and ruling that elections can take place in as little as seven to 10 days, the board severely limits the opportunity for workers to hear all sides of an issue and they can inform -- and make an informed decision. additionally employers would only have seven days to retain legal council and decipher the complex labyrinth of federal labor law before presenting their case before an nlrb hearing officer. so education work force chairman john kline smartly introduced h.r. 3094, the work force democracy and fairness act, to
simply, mr. chairman, level the playing field. this legislation requires no union election occur less than 35 days, thus granting all parties the ability to present their arguments and ensuring workers have the ability to reach an informed decision. h.r. 3094 acknowledging that full and complete -- acknowledges that full and complete information is treasured when employees are contemplating how they will vote. some unions have already endorsed president obama in an election that is well nihg a year offer off but -- nigh a year off but somehow 31 days is too long for employers in an election that's ever bit as important to them. the hypocrisy and blind advocacy has to stop, mr. chairman. the purpose of the nlra is to balance the rights of employers, employees and the general public. the nlra is not calculated to drive up union membership because they're a loyal
constituency for the democrat party. because the nlrb, through its filings and proposed rules and regulations, has lost all pretebs of -- pretens of objectivity and labor issues, pieces of legislation like this one are necessary. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from minnesota reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. >> i yield two minutes to the gentlewoman from connecticut, ms. delauro. the chair: the gentlewoman from connecticut is recognized for two minutes. ms. delauro: mr. speaker, this legislation will delay workers' attempts to uniize and will deny -- unionize and deny americans their rights to bargain collectively. in the next three weeks we have jobs legislation to consider, middle class tax cuts and unemployment benefits to extend. a 2012 budget to pass. the labor education, health and human services appropriations subcommittee has not even seen a bill yet. and yet just as they have all year long, the majority has chosen to waste precious time,
time that we should be spending on the people's business, to continue their misguided war against workers' rights. once again the majority's put forward a bill that has no other purpose than to roll back hard-won gains by american workers and erode the right of collective bargaining in this country. the legislation before us attempts to deny the right to form a crune by imposing excessive delays on the process, stifling the flow of information to workers and looking the other way while workers' rights are being violated. how long is this majority going to persist in this wrong-headed crusade against hardworking american men and women? the same hardworking men and women who built the middle class of this nation. mr. speaker, last month the c.b.o. found that wages have stagnated in this country and medium income has fallen in recent team, even as the income of the top 1% has tripled.
it is no coincidence that this has happened. while union membership has decreased. but the majority persists in trying to squeeze middle class workers and accelerate this race to the bottom. this is not the american way and it is not what the american people want. in ohio last month they rejected yet another republican attempt to eviscerate the right to collective bargaining. it is time to stop these attacks on basic american rights, it's time to roll up our sleeves and get to work on creating jobs, reducing the deficit and restoring economic growth to this nation. say no to this legislation. the chair: the gentlewoman's time has expired. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. kline: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield to another member of the committee, two minutes, the distinguished gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. platts. the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for two minutes. mr. platts: thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate the gentleman yielding. i co-sponsored and rise today in
support of house of representatives bill 3094 because it aims to restore key protections to the american workplace. protections for both workers and their employers from overreach by the national labor relations board. this legislation intends to protect job growth by deterring harmful nlrb regulations. the nlrb's recent notice of proposed rule making would significantly alter union procedures, thus undermining the rights of employers and employees alike. the proposed rules will unably shorten the time between the filing of a petition and the election date which will limit the opportunity for a full hearing of contested issues, including the appropriate bargaining unit, voter eltjibblet and election misconduct. i share the concerns of my constituents regarding the short and -- shooteren -- shortened time frame for elections and the potential it may have on an employers' ability to communicate with his or her own
employees regarding unionization. h.r. 3094 aims to ensure that employers and employees are able to participate in a fair union election process. by providing 14 days for employers to prepare their case to present before the nlrb, providing employees with at least 35 days to deliberate over the pros and cons of unionizing prior to voting on this issue. discouraging the practice of ambush elections and guaranteeing the right of employers to discuss the pros and cons. this legislation is not about whether employees should have the right to unionize. as a former teamster member, i certainly strongly support that right. this legislation is abouting employees a fair and deliberate opportunity to make that decision, one of the most important decisions they'll make in their life because it deals with their livelihood. outside of family matters and health concerns, deciding where you work and in what type of environment in which you work is going to be probably more
important than anything else you do related to your career. what this legislation says is, we think employees should have a fair opportunity to make that decision. i support this legislation and urge a yes vote. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from minnesota reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. miller: i yield to the gentlewoman from california, ms. waters. the chair: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. waters: i rise in strong opposition to the work force democracy and fairness act. this bill would severely undermine workers' rights to organize and if implemented will eventually silence and end unions as we know them. congressman george miller was create in -- correct in referring to this bill as the election prevention act. h.r. 3094 would require the national labor relations board to hear trivial appeals from companies in order to stop elections. this is an outright assault on middle class workers and the families they support.
the middle class is in decline. a c.b.o. report found that between 1979 and 2007 the top 1% of earners experienced income growth of 275%, that's the top 1%. while the middle income earners only saw 40% in growth over the same period. statistics like these are startling and pay a dis-- paint a distinct picture of this country as one that is quickly evolving into a two-teared society with no room at the top at all for the middle class. the work force democracy and fairness act is nothing more than an outright assault on the middle class. if this misguided and dangerous legislation is passed, you will see an even more rapid decline of the middle class in our country. i urge all members of the house to rebuke this misguided legislation and instead focus on policies that facilitate job growth.
i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman's time has expired. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. kline: mr. chairman, again, may i ask how much time is remaining? the chair: the gentleman from minnesota has six minutes remaining. and the gentleman from california has 9 3/4 minutes remaining. mr. kline: i have two speakers which may or may not arrive so i will be prepared to close and i'll reserve. mr. miller: i'll yield to the minority whip two minutes. the chair: the gentleman from maryland is recognized for two minutes. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, i rise in strong opposition to this misnamed bill which would promote neither democracy nor fairness in the workplace.
now, i have just been on this floor a few minutes but it's ironic that i've heard speaker after speaker in favor of this bill but who vote consistently against working men and women's right to organize and bargain collectively. ironic perhaps. the right of workers to organize and bargain collectively for better and fairer conditions has been protected by our laws since the era of the new deal. which was opposed by so many. this legislation is part of an agenda frankly that the republican party continues to pursue which no economist believes creates jobs in the coming year. this bill before us won't do anything to help the economy or create jobs, period. and it places obstacles in front
of workers seeking to exercise their right to organize. now i want to point out to my friends that interestingly enough in terms of trying to protect elections, there's all about -- you can't have an election before but there's nothing in this legislation you have to have an election by. that would perhaps be more critical. if said not sooner than this, but not later than this. that would show that you really wanted to pursue elections for working men and women so they could organize and bargain collectively for pay and benefits and working conditions. but it doesn't say that. it says, you simply can't have it before. it never says you have to have it. it never says you can't delay it by suit after suit after suit. it never says you've got to get the issue, it never says you've got to get the employees the right by a certain date. i ask for an additional minute.
the chair: the gentleman from maryland is recognized for an additional minute. mr. hoyer: this bill before us won't do anything to help the can economy or create jobs, as i said. i continue to have the strongest faith in the american worker, that they are the most talented and most productive in the world. we should not be rolling back their protections. instead we should focus on helping to get more americans back to work and as for the nlrb , the real trauma is it is now a pro-worker and employer nlrb as opposed to simply a pro-employer nlrb. that's the problem you have. the courts sought to ensure equal treatment. the nlrb ought to ensure equal treatment. it has not been doing that for some period of time. and now, in my view, it is. god bless them. that's what they should do.
employers and employees ugget to get a fair shake and a fair election. and i agree with that premise. timing is obviously of concern to both parties. i would hope that we would defeat this bill and then if we want to talk about assuring elections, we protect democracy and protect workers. i thank the gentleman for yielding his time. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from minnesota. mr. kline: i reserve. the chair: the gentleman from california. mr. miller: i yield one minute to the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. lynch. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman veck niced. mr. lynch: thank you. i thank the gentleman for yielding. i come before you as an iron worker for 18 years before coming to congress. i prack disease an attorney for
18 years before coming to congress. i practiced in front of the national labor relations board. i have heard time and time again by my colleagues that the nlrb, national labor relations board is an advocate for unionism, an advocate for big labor, it's nothing more than overreaching and trying to create unions. for those who lee that i ask you to look at the american work force. what percentage, since the nlrb is creating these unions and is overreaching, what percent amming of the american work force is working under a union agreement right now? the answer is 11%. so if those guys are in the tank, the nlrb is in the tank for creating unions, they're batting about .110. they're doing a lousy job. i've heard a lot about 31 days for an average election. that's where the union and employer agree it's 31 days.
if the union and company don't agree it's over 31 days. i urge my colleagues to vote against this bill. this is an attack on the middle class in america. we need to put people to work instead. thank you. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from minnesota continues to reserve. the gentleman from california is recognized. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. miller: i yield one minute to the gentleman from missouri, mr. carnahan. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. carnahan: thank you, mr. speaker, why aren't we talking about jobs today? we're here at the floor to talk about this bill, this so-called work force democracy fairness act.
not surprisingly, it's neither democratic nor fair. it is, in fact a blatant attack on workers' right the latest in a long line of republican assaults on workers this time the right wing is attacking the very right to organize. labor unions helped create the middle class and build the american dream. they help establish for all american workers much-needed protections and bargaining rights for wages and work force conditions. this deal would undo that progress. this anti-worker bill would also en-- empower employers to engage in anti-union campaigns and weaken the ability to protect people at work. just as voters stood together to stop the republican assault on workers, today i stand here on the floor against yet another assault on working families. when will we get beyond another republican sideshow and get back to talking about jobs? the chair: the jet's time has
expired. -- the gentleman's time has expyred. the gentleman from minnesota continues to reserve. the gentleman from california. mr. miller: the gentleman from new york, mr. crowley, one minute. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. crowley: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in strong opposition to this so-called work force democracy and fairness act. the sponsor of this bill recently said, and i quote if we remove an obstacle standing in a way of a stronger, more competitive work force. i find that puzzling. this deal would make the organization process longer, less efficient and more litigious. it would drag out leches so the deck is stacked even higher against american workers. but the truth is unions have been at the forefront of workers' rights for over a century in the united states. they have been instrumental in achieving the 40-hour work week, safer workplaces and a guarantee for injuries sustain odd the job. they have created an entire
generation of middle class meshes an helped build the most prosperous country in the world today. i think we all agree that unions have made the american work force stronger. so how can legislation that makes it harder to form a union strengthen the american work force? if someone has an answer i'd like to know. if not, let's get back to the job of creating jobs for the american people, strengthening the economy and creating more jobs for these people. i urge members to vote no on this bill and with that, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from minnesota continues to reserve. the gentleman from minnesota has six minutes. the gentleman from california has 3 3/4 minutes. he is recognized. mr. miller: i yield one minute to the gentleman from minnesota, mr. ellison. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. ellison: i ask unanimous consent to submit this letter for the record from the transportation union. the chair: the gentleman's request is granted under general leave. the gentleman is recognized.
mr. ellison: mr. speaker, this particular piece of legislation that uns mines unions, makes it more difficult to organize and generally frustrates american working men and women to organize on the job takes place just a few weeks before the republican majority was trying to take down the clean air act in the e.p.a. when you look at the american -- the republican job approach, it seems to me their argument seems to be that workers and people who want to breathe are the problem with the american economy. people who want to drink clean water and breathe clean air and people who want to have some rights on the job, they're the reason the american economy doesn't work. well that happens to be about 99% of us, mr. speaker. and i hope that as people are watching this debate on this floor today, that they are taking careful note of who is
on the side of the american worker, who son the side of americans trying to breathe and have clean air, and what in the world does getting rid of the clean air act and gutting unions have to do with making american jobs in the fact is, the republican majority is abandoning their responsibility to create jobs and i hope the american worker is watching today. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from minnesota continues to reserve. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. miller: the gentleman only has himself to close? mr. kline: that appears to be the case. mr. miller: i'm the only speaker left. the chair: the gentleman has 2 3/4 minutes remaining. mr. miller: 2 3/4. ok if anybody thinks this is just a technical change, let's understand what has gone on since republicans took control of the house. first effort, they cut $50 million out of the nlrb
account. then there was an amendment on this floor to try and zero out the money for the nlrb. then they passed a rule that said that you could retaliate against workers and you could move work away from workers, outsource it, they assigned the work to outsource work to retaliate against workers. now we have the effort to try and to prevent elections from taking place. this is a systematic effort, joined by a number of states and the republicans in this congress to take away the rights of workers at the workplace in america. the basic rights that have built the middle class. while they've continued to campaign against the nlrb thank god the nlrb has conned to work. we see today a settlement has been reached in the boeing case and you don't get to retaliate against workers. the new 737 work will go to
washington, the 787 will continue to go to south carolina. the nlrb worked that agreement out between employer and employee. let's remember boeing's on the record they didn't support that legislation. that was put there in behalf of their name. just a few minutes ago, the nlrb voted on a compromise rule dealing with leches. that compromise rule hopefully will now become a permanent rule and that will go forward. that's what the nlr bmbing does. it works out arrangements between employers and employees over issues about how the american workplace will be managed. but it does not strip away the basic rights of workers to choose to join the union. it does not allow you to retaliate against the union. it does not allow you to delay elections or at a point where you beat the union into submission, people get dispirited or move away, it doesn't allow that. that's the basic labor law of
this country. so today, the nlrb, working with employers and employee, have reaffirmed that principle. today on this house they continue the effort to try to strip workers of their rights. they continue the effort in light of the evidence that these things get worked out in the workplace. yes these are contentious, they're big issues, but we have a vehicle, that's 75 years old, that has worked well on behalf of this economy. not only did it build the middle class in this country, it built one of the largest economies, because we have the most productive workers. the most productive workers in the history of the world. industry after industry after industry. however you measure it. why aren't our steelworkers competitive with china? because our plants are cost competitive on tons of steel but when you manipulate the currency our people can't win. but our workers continue to be there every day and the nlrb will continue to be there every day for employers and employees
to settle their differences. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. kline: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield myself as much time as i may consume, the remainder of think time. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. kline: let's clear up a few things today. we heard in if -- in this debate, it's interesting, we clearly have different views, no question about it. we have heard repeatedly that this bill strips workers of their rights. sometimes my colleagues confuse workers with big labor leaders. this bill in fact protects workers' rights. union workers' rights, nonunion workers' rights. the pr posed regulations which are apparently under modification as we speak from the nlrb were in fact an attack on workers' rights. a demand that more personal information be provided union organizers whether or not the workers approved that. shrinking the amount of time that workers might have a
decision, to make a decision on one of the most important aspects of their life to as little as 10 days. this bill protects workers' rights, makes sure they have time to make this important decision. we've heard today that bargaining units would be gerrymandered by employers. in fact, this bill puts us back to the standard that has been in place for decades. to make sure that workplaces aren't fractured and fragmented and you have worker against worker. worker against employer. making it harder for employers to run an effective business. making it harder for them to have confidence to hire americans. we've been told that we are wasting time today, that we ought to be having a jobs bill, which apparently means spending
more borrowed money. we're already borrowing 42 cents on every dollar, mr. chairman, that we're spending now and yet apparently you can't create a job in this country unless the government does it with borrowed money. we disagree. we think -- we believe that we have been moving legislation in this house which will in fact help american job creators put americans back to work. one of the obstacles is confusion. it's uncertainty. it's worry about the regulatory climate an what's coming down the path. the president of the united states has said this economy needs a jolt, mr. chairman. i disagree. it needs certainty. it needs redictability. employers, employees, consumers need confidence in the future. they don't need to be jerked. the distinguished minority whip said the nlrb ought to be fair he said employers and employees ought to get a fair election. i couldn't agree more.
employers and employees ought to have a fair shake. they ought to get a fair election. that's what this bill does. so the choice today is pretty simple. if you support an employer's right to speak to his or her employees during an organizing campaign, then support the work force democracy and fairness act. if you support a worker's right to make an informed decision in a union election, support the work force democracy and fairness act. if you support giving workers a say in the personal information, the personal information, mr. chairman, available to union leaders, then support the work force democracy and fairness act and if you support reining in an activist nlrb and reaffirming congress' responsibility to write the law, then support the work force democracy and fairness act. i urge my colleagues to stand by our workers and their employers by supporting the simple, commonsense legislation, i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields
back. all time for general debate has expired. pursuant to the rule the amendment in the nature of a substitute printed in the bill shall be considered as an original bill for the purpose of amendment under the five-minute rule and shall be considered read. no amendment to the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be in order except those printed in house report 112-291. each such amendment may be offered only in the order printed in the report by a member designated in the report, shall be considered read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report, equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment and shall not be subject for demand of the division of the question. it is now in order to consider amendment number 1 printed in house report 112-291. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek
recognition? mr. bishop: mr. speaker, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 1 printed in house report 112-291 offered by mr. bertsch op of new york -- bishop of new york. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 470, the gentleman from new york, mr. bishop, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york, mr. bishop. mr. bishop: thank you very much, mr. speaker. my amendment is very simple. if a party makes a frivolous or vex ashese filing during a preelection representation hearing the nlrb or an administrative law judge will have the authority to impose sanctions. potential sanctions include reimbursement of attorney fees an costs. further, in the board determines that a party has -- if the board determines that a party has found that such a filing is for purposing of delaying an election, an election will be ordered to take place not less than seven days after the determination. my amendment is rooted in well-established law. rule 11 of the federal rules of civil procedure.
rule 11, which sanctions frivolous filings in federal court, is a long standing and tested standard that has been in practice for nearly 70 years, but it is currently inapplicable to representation proceedings at the nlrb. why should we continue to allow the filing of frivolous litigation at the nlrb but deter it in the courts? short answer -- we shouldn't. there is no good reason. this amendment simply harm onizes nlrb practice with the national standards used in our court system. while i urge the adoption of this amendment, the underlying bill before us today is nothing more than another attempt by the majority to distract the public from the most important issue facing our country, job creation. because my colleagues on the other side of the aisle apparently lack any plan to get unemployed americans working again, they are relying on the false specter of powerful unions and burdensome regulations as the boogeymen in the american labor market. however, a recent national poll by the bureau of labor statistics shows that only .2%
of employers cite government regulations and interference as their reason for laying off employees. .2%. the main reason cited for layoffs is lack of demand. we need real solutions to create american jobs, not phony distractions that attempt to steer the conversation to problems that don't exist. while current law allows union elections to proceed while requests for full board review are considered, h.r. 3094 mandates that elections be delayed until the food board decides whether or not to grant a request for review by the full nlrb, no matter how frive loss the arguments. in doing so, this bill incentivizes parties opposed to unionization to file frivolous lawsuits to delay union elections. not only is this unfair to hardworking americans, but it adds tremendous cost to taxpayers. this built-in incentive for delaying tactics makes my amendment all the more important. in the past many of my republican colleagues have argued passionately about the evils of frivolous lawsuits.
therefore i am con founded to hear opposition to my amendment that seeks to discourage frivolous litigation. why is it that le litigation that thwarts the ambitions of working families, no matter how frivolous or misguided, is not suddenly ok? don't construction workers matter? unfortunately such frivolous litigation is too often used by unscrupulous employers to oppose unionization. in my own district, 14 t-mobile technicians attempted to organize in a local chapter of the communication workers of america, only to discover that their employer had undertaken several subversive measures aimed at derailing the path to union organization. one such legal challenge included a dispute over the definition of whether or not the c.w.a. is a legitimate labor organization. let me say that again. a dispute over whether or not the c.b.a. is a -- c.w.a. is a legitimate labor organization. the c.w.a. represents over a half a million american workers. under h.r. 3094, t-mobile's frivolous challenge would have
to be completely adjudicated by the nlrb before the union election could occur, giving t-mobile the ability to legally hammer employees with antiunion messaging for weeks, months or even years. a constituent of my wrote to me regarding the t-mobile incident and i quote, it is abundantly clear to us that the company is only engaged in this effort in order to buy enough time to continue with an intimidation campaign as an effort to prevent us from exercising our right to organize and bargain collectively. we want to exercise our legal right in a timely and efficient manner, to decide for ourselves through the established election process whether or not to join the c.w.a. this process of delay and intimidation being exercised is wrong and should not be allowed to happen in the future. after several months of this assault, i will stand firm in my commitment to gaining a voice at work. what i'm asking for is a fair chance to vote. closed quote. a fair chance to vote. what could be more american than that? this is a fundamental matter of
standing up for the american worker this bill is an affront to one of our ammonium nitrate most principled values. the ability of workers to collectively bargain has been one of the basic pathways for workers to gain the protections and pay necessary to access the american dream. we should not undermine this shared principle and yet this is precisely what the underlying bill does. my amendment would provide at least some protections for employees who seek to organize their workplace. mr. speaker, i urge my colleagues to support my amendment and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina seek recognition? >> mr. chairman, i rise to claim time in opposition. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. gowdy: thank you, mr. chairman. let me first thank mr. bishop for raising the important issue of frivolous litigation. i am thrilled almost beyond words, not quite, almost beyond words that our colleagues on the other side of the aisle have recognized the impact that
frivolous litigation has on our economy. we very much support, mr. chairman, a more effective use of rule 11. we have consistently supported tort reform that corrects -- correctly sanctioned frivolous lawsuits. so, again, i thank our colleague from the other side of the aisle for bringing attention once again to the impact frivolous litigation has on our economy. nevertheless, mr. speaker, this amendment is not the right vehicle for a number of reasons. the purpose of the underlying bill is to correct the misguided effort of the nlrb to have quicky elections. which means the time is compressed for litigants, especially those caught offguard, by the legal filing, to respond. what do litigants and their counsel do when they're given an inadequate amount of time to prepare for litigation? they overplead. they overanswer. they throw everything they can
into the answer because to do otherwise is to risk missing an issue and being sued for legal malpractice or worse yet failing to adequately represent your client. so, in a very counterintuitive way, the nlrb's rush to have elections is more likely to result in overpleading than the status quo would be. mr. speaker, this amendment also gives increased power to the very agency that we are trying to rein in. that, too, is counterintuitive. to reward an activist agenda-drive branch entity with even more power to wield incorrectly is an invitation we are loath to accept. this amendment does not even provide all the safeguards of rule 11 and i urge my colleague and friend on the other side of the aisle made reference to rule 11. if this were simply rule 11, we may very well be standing up to
join in support. it's not rule 11. it doesn't provide notice and a reasonable chance to respond. it doesn't provide an appeal procedure, it denies an opportunity to withdraw the frivolous matter before sanctions are imposed. even current nlrb provisions require due notice and an opportunity for a hearing and allegations of misconduct cases -- in allegations of misconduct cases. this amendment i am sure, i am convinced is well intended. to root out frivolous filings and pleadings, but it has to be done in an even-handed, fair manner. not one calculated to skew the balance even more in favor of those seeking unionization. other than union membership being at a historic low, mamplee, -- mr. chairman, why the rush to change the rules? is 31 days too long? is a 70% success rate in elections not good enough? i appreciate the motive behind the amendment but i must oppose it because of the mechanism.
and i would encourage my colleagues to do the same. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman rembs. the gentleman from new york has 15 seconds remaining -- reserves. the gentleman from new york has 15 seconds remaining. mr. bishop: i will say that rule 11 gives the person who files a frivolous motion or the entity that files a frivolous motion 20 days to withdraw that filing which would defeat the purpose of what we're trying to accomplish here which is to see to it that we ultimately do get elections and i would repeat what the minority whip said which is, i think a lot of us would feel differently about this underlying bill if there were not just a minimum time for which there was an election to take place, but a maximum time in which the -- in which the election has to take place. this is one means of us to get that. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from south carolina is recognized. mr. gowdy:ky inquire how much time i have remaining? the chair: the gentleman has 1 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. gowdy: we need to give pause and reflects on why we're here.
we're not here because chairman kline had an idea out of the blue. we're here because an activist agenda-ridden nlrb is dissatisfied with 31 days to have an election. they're dissatisfied with a 70% success rate, so what mr. kline has done and smartly so in this bill is try to get us back to the status quo and how have a level playing field where -- and have a level playing field where employees have enough information to make what may be one of the most important decisions of their life and again i will say it to my colleague, rule 11 has built in procedural safeguardad very civil, constructive, i thought, conversation about this amendment in committee and i commend our friend for that and i commend him for bringing up a frivolous lawsuits and i'm happy to work with him on how to get it done. this vehicle, while well intended, is not the vehicle to get it done. and with that i would yield back
the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from south carolina yields back the balance of his time. all time having expired, the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from new york. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. the amendment is not agreed to. the gentleman from new york. mr. bishop: on that i request the yeas and nays. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from new york will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 2 printed in house report 112-291. for what purpose does the gentleman from iowa seek recognition? mr. boswell: mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 2 printed in house report 112-291 offered by mr. boswell of iowa. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 4 70, the gentleman from iowa, mr. boswell, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from iowa. mr. boswell: thank you, mr. chairman. i rise to encourage my colleagues to support my amendment to the underlying legislation. i first want to thank my
colleagues, mr. miller, mr. al andrews, for their work on this important issue. i'm concerned that this legislation creates an opportunity for participates -- parties to abuse the pre-election hearing process to engage in open-ended litigation. the majority would allow parties in a hearing to raise any rev lant and material issues at any time before the close of the hearing. yet they define relevant material as any other issues that may possibly impact the election. practically this means that any workplace issue, however frivolous, could be raised and litigated before the hearing closes. as we've seen some seek to enrich their c.e.o.'s while denying the workers a fair and a safer workplace. this amendment would only apply to companies that have given bonuses, now, hear this, bonuses to the executives that amount to 10,000% more than the average earning sal riff their employees -- salaries of their employees.
those employers will state their issues at the onset of hearing and would be prohibited from engaging in open-ended litigation. this is a simple principle. if your average employee makes $50,000 and you can afford to pay the c.e.o. a bonus of $5 million, then you can also afford to be prepared for the hearing in 14 days and state your position up front. i'm not sure why we're considering h.r. 3094 right now. it won't create one job and it won't reduce our deficit by one dollar. it won't add one job for unemployed construction workers to fix our horrible bridges that need to be repaired. it won't help one member of the iowa national guard that recently returned from afghanistan and is still looking for a job. and all this bill does is help a small number of companies make it harder for the workers to organize, the very least we can do is make sure those companies aren't abuing -- abusing the process while handing out executive bonuses that are
10,000% more than what their workers earn. support this amendment for fairness. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from iowa reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota rise? mr. kline: mr. chairman, i rise to claim time in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. kline: thank you, mr. chairman. it's kind of ironic sometimes, but this occupy wall street sort of inspired amendment is an effort to dismantle union election process and deny workers an opportunity to make an informed decision. under the guise of fighting greed on wall street, this amendment will actually punish workers, punish workers if their company executives receive bonuses that are deemed too big by officials in washington. mr. chairman, while most of the time employer and union can agree to the terms of the union elections, often a pre-election
hearing is needed to address questions that arise. it assures all relevant and pre-election materials are addressed before a worker is required providing workers to -- forcing a vote before these issues can go addressed at the pre election hearing will severely -- pre-election hearing will severely undermine the employee's free choice. in fact, this amendment may lead to needless delay in the election process. the courts have overturned the results of elections because important issues were not properly addressed at the pre-election hearing. no worker should be denied a fair union election process because of the bonuses paid to company executives. yet, that is precisely what this amendment would do. congress should not be picking winners and losers here,
determining that workers deserve greater protections than others. i urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment, and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from minnesota reserves. the gentleman from iowa is recognized. mr. boswell: at this time i'd like to recognize mr. andrews from new jersey for the balance of the time. the chair: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. andrews: i thank my friend for yielding. my friend from minnesota, the chairman of our committee, says that congress shouldn't be picking winners and losers. i think the congress has already picked a lot of winners in the last number of months. they picked the people that are the subject of mr. boswell's amendment, those whose bonuses are 10,000% more than the average salary of their workers. they picked them for the largest tax cut in american history. they picked the winner and says if that person manipulates a hedge fund or a financial institution the regulators will look the other way as our 401-k's become 201-k's and our
home values shrink. this congress has picked a set of winners and those winners are at the top of american society who got 93% of the pay raises. 93% of the pay raises have given to that top group. mr. boswell is trying to have a significant disincentive which says, if you pay yourself 10,000% more than your average worker, maybe there should be a separate set of circumstances you have to abide by and live by. it's a novel idea around this congress. very novel idea. that those at the very top of american society should have to live by a set of rules that protects the rest of american society. for that reason i strongly support mr. boswell's amendment. i would urge a yes vote and yield back to him. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from iowa reserves. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. kline: thank you, mr. chairman.
i, like my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, and americans across the country, can get pretty angry when some officials, corporate officials receive extraordinarily high salaries. i'm not here to defend that. what i'm talking about here is why would you punish the workers because the employers are paying themselves too much money? i don't think we should do that, and that's what this amendment does. it denies workers the opportunity to make an informed decision. we shouldn't be punishing those workers because of executives have paid themselves too much money. i reserve. the chair: the gentleman from minnesota reserves. the gentleman from iowa is recognized. mr. boswell: how much time is left? the chair: the gentleman from iowa has a minute and a half remaining.
mr. boswell: a minute and a half. well, thank you very much. thank you for pointing out those astute remarks that apply to workers. my friend from minnesota, i recall we both have led troops and i am proud of you for having done that. i am proud i had the opportunity. you know, i see these topics -- top c.e.o.'s, where are their troops? their troops are the workers. thank heavens we have those people being entrepreneurs but they have orders to get the job done just like you and i had to have troops to take the objective. what's the difference? our troops had to be well-fed, trained, equipped, morale had to be good and then we could take our objective. any sergeant, lieutenant, colonel that can't take the objective without troops, then how do those we appreciate, we
lie on them, but they have to have those workers, they have to treat them fairly and realize they, too, want to have the american dream. and i'm concerned, worried that american dream -- surrounded by my grandchildren just a few days ago at thanksgiving, is it going to be there for them? we ought to be thinking about it. we don't pull the ladder up. we leave it down. let's leapt everybody have a part of the american dream. and 10,000% and you're worried about that? come on, give me a break. i urge support of this amendment. i think it is fair and it's the right thing to do. thank you. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. kline: may i inquire as to how much time i have remaining? the chair: the gentleman from minnesota has two minutes remaining. mr. kline: two minutes. thank you, mr. chairman. i, too, want to thank my colleague and friend from iowa for his service. he, like me, made an early mistake and chose to fly and
even worse to fly helicopters. he just perhaps is better at it than some of us. but this amendment is going the wrong direction. it's not the percentage. how many percent? 100,000%, 1,000,000,000% more, i don't want to defend that either. i don't want to defend the leader before his troops and i don't want to defend the leader who thinks he can do it without his troops. but this takes out the rights and protections and the workers. we shouldn't punish the workers because we're mad at the executives. we shouldn't punish the troops because we're mad at the colonels. i agree with the gentleman on that, let's don't punish the workers, let's defeat this amendment. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from minnesota yields back. all time being yielded back, the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from iowa. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no.
in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it and the amendment is not agreed to. mr. boswell: mr. chairman. the chair: the gentleman from iowa. mr. boswell: i request a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from iowa will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 3 printed in house report 112-291. for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota seek recognition? mr. walz: mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: clerk. the clerk: amendment number 3 printed in house report 112-291 offered by mr. walz of minnesota. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 470, the gentleman from minnesota, mr. walz, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from minnesota for five minutes. mr. walz: thank you, mr. chairman. i give myself as much time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. walz: i offer an amendment that would protect the employment rights of our brave service members. we've all seen this show before, mr. chairman. let's not insult the intelligence of the american
public. when we had an employee free choice act the other side argued, we only want to protect the secret ballot. now, it's, no, we want the ability for you to vote on a secret ballot only when we want it done. we've seen it in ohio and wisconsin. we have a fundamental difference about labor rights and the ability to collectively bargain. we are probably not going to agree on that but let's find some bipartisan ground where we can agree. my amendment is very straightforward. it simply prevents this piece of legislation, h.r. 30 the 94, from applying -- h.r. 3094 from applying for businesses which have been cited -- it is very simple. these are not the vast majority of employers who are playing by the rules. this is those that have had egregious violations, specifically against veterans and this will help us protect those. i wholeheartedly agree we have a lot of good, strong employers out there supporting our guard
reserve but labor laws are still being vee lated. we need these laws. last year 3,000 cases of employers who violated the uniformed service employment and re-employment rights act, the main law that protects veterans. my amendment provides the means of congress by removing the ability for violators to prevent unnecessary barriers to a free and expeed yuss union election process. keep in mind these are the very people who fought to protect the basic american right to organize collectively for a safe workplace. but yet when they come home we're going to throw barriers in the way even by companies that have already violated veterans' employment rights at a time when we have high unemployment amongst veterans. this is one we can come together. by the way, two million veterans are in labor unions of their choice now. so this isn't a small number. this is a large number. why would congress hinder the ability for a veteran to choose
whether or not they want representation? it's what they fought for. while my colleagues and i can debate the role of government and collective bargaining, i don't believe there is a difference in where we believe this should not apply to violators of veterans' employment rights and allow them to make the choice. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from minnesota, mr. walz, reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota, mr. kline, rise? mr. kline: mr. chairman, i rise -- claim time in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. kline: thank you, mr. chairman. and, of course, i always hate to oppose something presented by my minnesota delegation colleague, a veteran himself, but, again, i think we have a misguided amendment here. we are in the last amendment -- in the last amendment we were taking an occupy wall street moment and to express our outrage at the salaries or bonuses or compensation for executives and we were going to punish workers because of our
outrage. unfortunately we're sort of doing the same thing here. if you're a veteran and your employer has harmed any number of your rights under federal labor law, they have broken the law and action ought to be taken against them. but now with this amendment this would give the -- this activist, nlrb, having excused the free choice of your co-workers in a union election. i don't think we want to do that. we want to support the rights of all workers. we want to -- as the distinguished minority whip said -- employers and employees ought to get a fair election. we want a fair election for employers and employees, for workers, whether they are veterans or not veterans. i, having spent sometime in uniform myself, have a special place for veterans. i want to make sure they get everything, everything that's
coming to them. we owe them so much, but this amendment unfortunately would end up punishing them and their co-workers and i think misguided effort to help them. we shouldn't do that. let's support the underlying legislation and oppose this amendment. i reserve. the chair: the gentleman from minnesota, mr. kline, reserves. the gentleman from minnesota, mr. walz, is recognized. mr. walz: thank you. i respect the chairman and the gentleman's opinion on this. but i want to be very clear. the only people this applies to is violators of veterans' workplace employment. these are veterans returning home who choose to have union representation, who have fought for that right in uniform and are now being told -- the nlrb said this is no problem being able to put in. it's at no cost to the taxpayer to be able to do this, and the thing that i hear coming up in the discussion today was we need to have more time to explain it to them. i have tremendous faith in the ability of our folks who served
in split-second life and death decisions overseas serving in combat to be able to after a few days make a decision with the information they're given whether they want representation or not, not being drug out in litigation for two years so they can protect their rights against employers previously cited in the one year. these are not the good actors. these are the bad actors. i don't want like the underlying bill. i'm trying to make it better. why are we protecting the 1% of bad actors in this at the expense of a veteran who has the right to organize? with that i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from minnesota, mr. walz, reserves. the gentleman from minnesota, mr. kline, is recognized. mr. kline: thank you, mr. chairman. again, may i inquire as to how much time remains on either side? the chair: the gentleman from minnesota, mr. kline, has three minutes remaining. the gentleman from minnesota, mr. walz, has 1 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. kline: thank you, mr. chairman. i think there's some confusion here. the other gentleman from
minnesota says that these are, talk about veterans who have chosen to have a union. the point is, we don't know if they've choast chose ever to have a union -- if they've chosen to have a union. we don't know that. that's what the election is for. and they deserve the time and the opportunity to ask questions, get answers, hear from all sides and make an informed decision. and what the underlying bill does is says, you get at least 35 days and i would remind my colleagues that the current average time is 31 days and the median time is 38 days. but we think a month, five weeks, ought to be time for workers to be able to receive the information, ask the questions, challenge information from the employer and from the union organizer and then make an informed decision. and while it is true certainly sometimes in combat that you have to make split-second
decisions to save your life or the lives of -- lives of colleagues or to achieve the mission, you shouldn't be required to do that here in making this decision for you and your family. you ought to have time to do it. and because an employer has misbehaved, in the example of this amendment, the employer should be punished for that if he's broken law but the employees should not be deprived of the opportunity to make an informed decision and that's what this amendment would do, so, again, reluctantly i oppose this amendment and support the underlying bill and i reserve. the chair: the gentleman from minnesota, mr. kline, reserves. the gentleman from minnesota, mr. walz, is recognized. mr. walz: thank you. i express my disappointment with the gentleman. i do respect his service and we have a fond attachment to our veterans in getting this right. let me do something that doesn't happen down here very much. to show you how small this is. i'll read you the entire amendment. the designated authority referred to in subparagraph b are employers that have been
found liable for labor law violations against veterans of the armed forces during the one-year period proceeding the filing of petition under this subsection. such parties hay not engage in the tactic of raising new issues or petitions during a pre-election hearing that were not raised prior to the commencement of the hearing. no matter how you feel about the underlying bill, if we really want to make this better and try and reach across together, maybe this is one area we could do it. i would urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, do what's right, pick off these bad employers so they can't engage in these tactics against veterans. let's get our folks back to work and agree to disagree on the fundamental underlying bill on labor. this one we shouldn't. and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from minnesota yields back. the gentleman from minnesota, mr. kline, is recognized. mr. kline: thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for keeping track of the minnesotans here, too, as well. i'm sorry but again we just have a fundamental difference here. if an employer is liable, has
made mistakes, has broken the law, they should be punished under the law. which ever law they have violated, in violating the rights of employees, veterans or not. but this amendment is an attempt to dismantle, dismantle a successful union election process that is fair to veterans and nonveterans, to employees and to employers. this amendment in an attempt to punish employers who have misbehaved, who ought to be punished under the law, under another law, is simply going to deny the rights of workers to have the opportunity to make an informed decision and so i oppose this amendment and support the underlying legislation and yield back. the chair: the gentleman from minnesota, mr. kline, yields back. all time having expired, the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from minnesota, mr. walz. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no.
in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it, and the amendment is not agreed to. mr. walz: mr. chairman, i ask for a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings offered by the gentleman from minnesota, mr. walz, will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 4 printed in house report 112-291. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from texas seek recognition? the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 4 printed in house report 112-291 offered by ms. jackson lee of texas. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 470, the gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson lee, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair now recognizes the gentlewoman from texas. ms. jackson lee: i thank the chairman very much and my question to my colleagues is whether workers come as republicans or democrats or do
they come simply as americans operating under a constitutional provision? that we all celebrate. and that is the first amendment. the first amendment clearly allows the american people to petition, to have freedom of expression and by essence freedom to assemble. we also recognize that in the course of power there is a worker and there is the employer , the employer in many instances intimidates. and so the national labor relations board recognized the unevenness of power with those who, whether they are returning troops or veterans, whether or not they're single mothers, working families who want to better their life, they understand that there needs to be a fairness in order for this little small book, the constitution, to actually operate. so my amendment is very simple. my amendment attempts to make an even playing field and it takes
away the power of the underlying legislation which is to limit how long the election may go on and in fact delay the election, if you will. and so this amendment strikes the provision that keels -- deals with the time frame for which the election can go on and the employer can interfere with that election. delay gives unscrupulous employers more time to use the time frame to delay the elections. it's a simple premise that you win or lose elections, but if you allow employers to use the hand of intimidation and to stop the election, you take away some of the privileges of being an american. now, i frankly believe that in this time that we're on the floor we really should be debating the extension of the unemployment benefits.
i believe that we should be discussing the passage of the american jobs act. we're not doing that. we're here to limit the rights of americans and i'd ask my colleague to support the amendment that stops employers from delaying the rights of americans by participating in delaying litigation, rising their power, limiting the power of the worker. i hope my colleagues will join me in supporting my amendment. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina rise? mr. gowdy: mr. chairman, i rise in -- to claim time in opposition. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. gowdy: thank you, mr. chairman. this amendment would strike provisions of the work force democracy and fairness act that ensure employers have at least 14 days, that's not a misstatement, 14 days to find legal counsel and prepare their case for the pre-election hearing. additionally it would strike the provisions that ensure employers have 35 days to educate their
workers and employees have 35 days to determine whether they wish to join a union. and, mr. chairman, information is power and i frankly don't understand the antagonism toward information. i don't understand the antagonism towards employers. we give garden variety, common criminal shoplifters 180 days to find a lawyer. 100 days for a shoplifter to find a lawyer bewe can't give employers two weeks? is two weeks really too much to ask? to find a lawyer? and there have been unions, mr. chairman, that have already endorsed this president and his re-election bid. already 360-something-days out was the first one i noted. so they need 365 days to prepare
for an election but we can't give employers 35 days? you can check out a library book for longer than you want to give employers the ability to prepare for an election? this is an important decision, not only in the lives of the employees but the employers. many of whom are small business owners. and they've got to negotiate the legal labyrinth that is our federal labor law and you're going to give them 35 days and 14 to get a lawyer. mr. chairman, this amendment will restrict employers' free speech and undermine workers' free choice. information is power. sometimes that takes time. i don't think 35 days under anyone's calculus is too much time to prepare for an election. and if we can give a shoplifter
or a speeder or a drunk driver 180 days to go hire a lawyer, surely the goodness we can give a small business job creator a couple of weeks and with that i would reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from south carolina reserves. the gentlewoman from texas is recognized. ms. jackson lee: very briefly, listening to my good friend from south carolina, it's time to take out the white hankie and begin to cry for the employers against these deadly workers. some of them veterans and single parents. hear me very clearly. there are 35 days for the filing of a petition but there is no limit to it the amount of time -- to the amount of time an employer can delay the election through litigation. if that isn't an imbalance against the vulnerable worker, the worker that is behind a cashier, the worker who is manufacturing made it in america d, a trinket of some kind, the textile worker, a returning
soldier from the battlefield, then what is? god bless the employer with their constitutional rights, i applaud them. but what this bill is doing and what this section is doing is taking a spear and going on and on and on for dilatory litigation tactics, to disallow the organizing that is protected under the constitution and the due process under the fifth amendment. go ahead, employers, get your lawyers, move on. but the question is, how long? is -- how long is too long? i reserve my time. the chair: the gentlelady from texas reserves. the gentleman from tick is recognized. the gentleman from south carolina has 2 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. gowdy: thank you, mr. chairman. my first job was delivering newspapers. the job after that was bagging groceries at a local grocery store and the job after that was working in a tobacco warehouse. i don't recall ever being hired by an employee. i don't understand the antagonism toward employers. i don't understand the
antagonism towards people who are willing to invest their fortune and have the unmitigated temerity to want to be successful and hire other people. i don't understand the antagonism towards job creators. and, mr. chairman, i will say it again. if we can give 180 days to someone who shoplifts from a store, to go find a lawyer, but we can't give 14 days to the small business owner who wants to defend against a suit, negotiating the legal labyrinth that many of the lawyers in this body don't understand, present company included, there are experts in labor law and unless you have counsel hired, corporate counsel, you're going to have to go find a lawyer, educate them on your issues and mr. kline gives them a whopping two weeks.
14 days is eminently reasonable and 35 days for something as potentially transformative as an election is not too much to ask for and there is nothing in the constitution of the united states that says otherwise. and with that i would reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from south carolina reserves. the gentlelady from texas is recognized. ms. jackson lee: what i say to my good friend from south carolina, i have the greatest respect for employers. i'd like the gentleman to join me in passing the american jobs act to give them payroll tax relief, to give them tax credits for hiring new employees. but you have to ask the question after this bill's implementation, will workers view their workplace more favorably? will their wages match the growth rate of the company and economy? will workers feel like american employers supported by government provide meaningful safety for community survival? this legislation frankly undermines the american workers. can we all get along? can we find a way to address the concerns of making sure that
we're fair to the employer but not have delay after delay after delay to deny someone their constitutional rights of organizing, freedom of expression? i think we can. the elimination of the provisions -- provisions that i have spoken to is a dilatory upperhand of employers to get the better hand of our employees. i reserve my time. the chair: the gentlelady from texas reserves. the gentlelady from texas has 15 seconds remaining. the gentleman from south carolina is recognized, he has 45 seconds remaining. mr. gowdy: thank you, mr. chairman. i would invite my friends on the other side of the aisle to join us in addressing what i hear from every small business owner back in south carolina, which is fix the regulatory apparatus, fix the tax structure, fix the litigation structure, quit spending money you don't have. mr. chairman, the president, who was standing not three feet in front of you, said, we should have no more regulation than is necessary for the health, safety and security of the american people. that's not a republican that
said that, that's the president of the united states. so i would ask the nlrb, what part of health, safety and security are you trying to fix with quicky elections, placing posters in the workplace and other regulations that do nothing except punish job creators? and with that i would reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentlelady from texas is recognized for 15 seconds. ms. jackson lee: in my hand i have h.r. 3094 and in this hand i have the constitution. i don't know who you would stand with. support my amendment, support the constitution, provide workers the opportunity for freedom and the right to organize. i ask my colleagues to support and join me with the jackson lee amendment. with that i yield back. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlelady from texas. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. the amendment is not agreed to. the gentlelady from texas. ms. jackson lee: i ask for the yeas and nays. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by by the gentlelady from texas will be postponed.
for what purpose does the gentlelady from wisconsin seek recognition? ms. moore: i have a motion at the desk. the clerk: ms. moore of wisconsin moves that the committee do now rise and report the bill to the house with the recommendation that the enacting clause be stricken. the chair: the gentlelady from wisconsin is recognized for five minutes in support of her motion. ms. moore: thank you, mr. chair. i rise to make this motion today because i am opposed to the underlying bill. the so-called work force democracy and fairness act. mr. chair, i hope that all my colleagues have gotten their tickets for this show because once again my republican colleagues have turned these hallowed halls of congress into a place where political theater or better yet a circus as the joke is on working class america. today's so-called work force democracy and fairness act is another scene in this unfolding plot to undermine american
workers. it would be comedy if it weren't such a tragedy for the american people. every day the american people are forced to play the part of the clown. they watch republicans put on this performance claiming to want to protect american jobs and workers while behind the scenes they work to dismantle the rights of the american worker. and like the clown, the american people must learn to laugh with tears in their eyes. today's installment of tragic theater stars a bill which has been more appropriately renamed by my democratic colleagues as the election prevention act, this bill will permit employers to delay indefinitely a union election by mandating delays in the union election process and failing to place limits on how long an election can be delayed. these delays would allow more intimidation and harassment of employees, including hiring
union-busting companies. this bill perverts the notion of employee free choice in the face of the power of an employer to indefinitely postpone an election. in wisconsin, mr. chair, we have seen this song and dance before. under the guise of deficit reduction, governor walker undermined workers' rights, rammed through legislation that cut state employee benefits and strips unions of their collective bargaining rights. ohio, too, has seen this horrific curtain call with the governor and the passage of s.b. 5. but what governor walker and casey is not prepared for is the second act of this drama. when the curtain opened on november 8 in ohio, they flocked to the polls with a resounding voice and repealed
s.b. 5. it continues in my state of wisconsin wherein in just two weeks we have garnered 300,000 signatures poised to recall governor scott walker. mr. chair, the american people will not be upstaged by this anti-union, anti-worker and anti-family play. our nation's middle class is demanding to bargain for more of the wealth that they created. mr. chair, this clear attack on workers' rights departs from democracy in the workplace. it's time to pull the curtain and pull the hook out on this circus act and bring up real jobs. i yield to my colleague, the lady from ohio, betty sutton. ms. sutton: i thank the gentlewoman for yielding and i thank her for the motion. mr. speaker, what's it going to take to get this body to focus
on priority one which is getting america back to work? why, mr. speaker, are we here yet again debating an anti-worker bill when we should be working together to help foster jobs? instead of trying to disempower workers and further weaken the middle class, why aren't we trying to create opportunities for them and their families? every day that the focus is on attacking workers instead of generating job opportunities is one day longer we're meyered at unacceptable rate of unemployment. it's another day that americans will struggle. here we are debating this extreme and lopsided bill to give big corporations the upper hand over working families, a bill that does nothing to bolster our recovery but does a lot to stack the deck against american workers.
we have seen this fight before as the gentlewoman has pointed out in other places and the american people are voicing their on session to these fundamental attacks against workers. in my state of ohio we saw a governor try to silence our firefighters, teachers, our police officers, our nurses and other people who serve ohio. instead of focusing on jobs, the governor and his allies pushed the bill through and unleveled the playing field for working families. it wasn't right there and it's not right here and the american people -- the chair: the gentlelady's time has expired. ms. sutton: defeat this bill. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota rise? mr. kline: i rise to claim time in opposition to this motion. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. kline: thank you, mr. chairman. this clearly -- in fact, the
language of the motion is designed to kill the bill. i understand the gentlelady doesn't like the bill. but the characterization of it is incorrect. we heard today on this floor some distinguished members of the other party that the nlrb ought to be fair, that employers and employees ought to get a fair election. we agree with that. we have heard today that the majority party has done nothing to improve the economy and help job creators create jobs. clearly we disagree. member after member has stood up here and said we have a plan, we've been advancing legislation, we continue to advance legislation, we have over 20 bills passed by this house sitting over in the senate waiting for majority leader reid to take them up. jobs that will clear the way for job creators, the private sector, to put americans back
to work. clearly there is a blizzard of regulations that is descending on the workplace. the speaker got a letter back from the administration a few weeks ago that said there were some 219 regulations in the pipeline each of which would have an impact on the economy over $100 million and i think seven would have an impact over $1 billion. regulations coming from every direction. and my colleagues pointed out that even the president of the united states said we shouldn't be having more regulations that don't directly affect the safety and security of the american people or words close to that effect. the gentlelady, my friend from wisconsin, said there was an unfolding plot. well, i agree there does seem to be an unfolding plot that's coming from the administration through the nlrb to advance the special interest of big labor bosses.
we don't think that's right. that's not giving employers and employees a fair election. that's advancing the special interest of big union bosses. it's not protecting the rights of workers, whether they're in the union or not. -- whether they're in a union or not. employees and employers should get a fair election. the nlrb should not be slanting it, handing it to big labor bosses. so this is an effort to kill the bill. i believe it's a good bill. it restores practices that have been in place, providing fair elections for decades. i would encourage my colleagues to support the underlying legislation and vote against this motion to kill the bill and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from minnesota yields back. the question is on the preferential motion. those in favor say aye.
those opposed, no. the noes have it and the preferential motion is not adopted. ms. moore: mr. chair, i would note there is no quorum and i request a roll call. the chair: the chair will count for a quorum. ms. moore: i'm not asking for a quorum call. i'm asking for a roll call. the chair: the gentlewoman withdraws are point of order for a quorum? ms. moore: yes. the chair: the chair will count for a recorded vote. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. pursuant to clause 6-g of rule 18, this will be followed by two-minute votes on the following amendment, amendment number 1 by mr. bishop of new york, amendment number 2 by mr. boswell of iowa, amendment number 3 by mr. walz of minnesota and amendment number 4 by ms. jackson lee of texas. this is a 15-minute vote and members will record their votes
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